The Macau gaming law revision process “has been open, transparent, and productive,” said on Tuesday the management of United States-based casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd.
“We expect that to continue throughout 2022 as Macau really focuses on the long-term health and stability … of the industry and of the region,” stated Matt Maddox, the group’s chief executive, adding that the group was “very confident in the process.” He was speaking in a conference call with investment analysts following the group’s third-quarter results announcement.
Wynn Resorts is the parent of Wynn Macau Ltd, which runs the Wynn Macau complex (pictured) on the city’s peninsula, and the Wynn Palace casino resort in the Cotai district.
On Tuesday, Wynn Resorts announced that Mr Maddox would step down as group CEO on January 31, 2022. He is to be replaced by Craig Billings, currently the group’s president and chief financial officer.
On the call, Mr Maddox said the company had asked him to remain on the Wynn Macau Ltd board, in order to “ensure stability and to assist with the concession renewal process” in Macau. He will continue as a director of Wynn Macau Ltd until December 31, 2022.
The Macau government has said previously that there will be a new public tender process associated with the expiry of the current licences in June 2022, although Macau’s gaming law is due to be amended prior to such a process.
As part of the gaming law revision process, the Macau government held a public consultation process to gather opinions on the topic from operators and the general public. The public consultation period ran from September 15 until October 29.
Ian Coughlan, president of Wynn Macau Ltd, said on the call that the group was “very impressed” with the Macau government’s pragmatism regarding the gaming law consultation process.
He noted: “They’ve allowed us to engage directly, and we’ve shared our concerns. We don’t have clarity on a number of the issues at this point, but we look at clarity further along the way.”
Mr Coughlan added: “All of the concessionaires have similar concerns, and we believe that the fact that we’ve aired them and shared them, that they will be given very serious consideration.”
As part of the gaming law revision, the Macau government has proposed that its approval should be required before local casino operators could distribute dividends to shareholders.
On Wednesday’s call, Mr Maddox said the dividend-oversight idea “made sense”. “In one of the consultative hearings, they talked about the need to balance the employment market and stability of Macau with returns for shareholders, which I think is perfectly logical and makes a lot of sense,” he stated.
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