The Macau government is presenting this Wednesday the findings of its “mid-term” review of the local casino industry.
The city’s authorities have called a press conference for Wednesday afternoon on the “mid-term term review of the post-liberalisation casino sector, on the areas of economy, social matters, livelihood and operations of the [casino] concessionaires.”
A government spokesperson told GGRAsia that the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac – whose portfolio includes overseeing Macau’s gaming sector – will attend the press conference.
Paulo Martins Chan, the director of the city’s gaming regulator – the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, also known as DICJ – will also be at the press conference, said the spokesperson.
Scholar Davis Fong Ka Chio will also attend the event. Mr Fong heads the Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming at University of Macau, the body commissioned by the Macau government to conduct the mid-term review.
The same government spokesperson told GGRAsia that the 200-plus pages mid-term review report would only be available in Chinese and Portuguese, Macau’s two official languages. No full, official English version will be made available at the press conference, added the person.
Secretary Leong had already stated that the results of the mid-term review would be announced this week. Several previous provisional deadlines announced by the government regarding publication of the document had been missed.
Steve Wynn, chairman of Wynn Resorts Ltd and its local unit Wynn Macau Ltd, which is building the US$4.2-billion Wynn Palace property on Cotai, told investment analysts on the group’s first quarter earnings call last week, he was optimistic the review’s findings would have some positive things to say about the industry.
“We have some idea of what the review had to say in general terms, and that was that the upgrade, the expansion of the appeal of the Macau market was successful in every way; either met or exceeded the goals that were set early in the… millennium,” stated Mr Wynn.
Ian Coughlan, an executive director at Wynn Macau, said during the earnings call that the group wasn’t expecting any unpleasant surprises from the mid-term review.
The mid-term review began in May last year. According to previous comments by Macau officials, it was due to cover nine topics, namely: “development of the gaming industry; its economic impact on Macau; its impact on small- and medium-sized enterprises; its impact on Macau’s society; the relationship between the gaming and non-gaming sectors; whether gaming operators are complying with the terms of their [existing concession and sub-concession] contracts; the operations of gaming companies; whether gaming operators are fulfilling their social responsibilities; and the management of VIP gaming promoters”.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China