Macau-based gaming scholar Davis Fong Ka Chio has been appointed by Macau’s Chief Executive as a member of the city’s Legislative Assembly. The announcement was made on Wednesday by the Macau government in a press release.
Mr Fong (pictured in a file photo) heads the University of Macau’s Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming. He was involved in the Macau government’s “mid-term” review report of the local casino industry, disclosed in May 2016.
In Macau, 14 seats in the legislative body are apportioned via direct election; 12 seats via indirect elections; and seven seats by appointment at the discretion of the city’s incumbent Chief Executive. The elections for the direct and indirect seats took place on September 17.
The new Legislative Assembly members are expected to take office in October for a four-year term. One of the important topics legislators are likely to discuss during the term of the new Legislative Assembly is the possible extension of gaming rights for Macau’s current gaming concessions and sub-concessions.
The present three concessions and three sub-concessions expire on various dates in either 2020 or 2022. They can be extended in increments of time to a maximum of five extra years from the time of their original expiry. After that, a new concession process must take place, involving a new public tender.
Mr Fong is not the only member of Macau’s Legislative Assembly with ties to the local gaming sector. Others include directly-elected lawmakers Angela Leong On Kei, an executive director of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd and fourth consort of Stanley Ho Hung Sun; and Zheng Anting, a local junket representative.
Chan Meng Kam – a veteran legislator and local casino boss born in the mainland’s Fujian province – did not run for re-election this year. But Mr Chan campaigned on behalf of the ticket of lawmakers Si Ka Lon and Song Pek Kei: both were re-elected.
Other Chief Executive-appointed legislators – as announced on Wednesday by the Macau government – include: businessman Ma Chi Seng; management scholar Pang Chuan; civil engineer Wu Chou Kit; economy scholar Joey Lao Chi Ngai; law scholar Iau Teng Pio; and local lawyer Chan Wa Keong.
Wednesday’s government release on the new Chief Executive-appointed lawmakers did not give reasons for the respective appointments.
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"We [estimate] that these illegal [currency exchange] transactions account for somewhere between 50 percent to 60 percent [of Macau's annual gross gaming revenue]”
Managing partner at IGamiX Management and Consulting