Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng (pictured in a file photo), affirmed today (Thursday) that the government would sign this afternoon, at 4.30pm, the contracts to extend by about six months the current concessions or sub-concessions of the city’s six casino operators.
The licences had been due to expire on June 26, but the city’s government had invited the operators to apply to extend them until the end of the calendar year, as the Macau authorities work to prepare a fresh public tender process.
“The contracts will be extended until December 31,” said Mr Ho, during a Thursday press conference about the latest Covid-19 outbreak in Macau. The Chief Executive also said the government would now work on the procedures to launch a fresh public tender for new gaming concessions that would take effect next year.
Some of the city’s casino operators have confirmed in public announcements in recent months that they have pledged to pay the Macau government up to MOP47 million (about US$6 million) in return for their current Macau gaming licence being extended to December 31 this year.
Members of Macau’s Legislative Assembly approved on Tuesday a government-backed bill to revise the city’s gaming law. The amendment bill says that up to six new concessions will be permitted, for a maximum term of 10 years, with a three-year extension possible under certain circumstances.
Brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd said in a Tuesday note that a fresh public tender for Macau gaming concessions could start “in August or late July,” with the result possibly “announced by early November”.
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Aggregate number of Covid-19 cases in the latest Macau outbreak, as of Thursday-end