A list of “provisional winners” regarding Macau’s ongoing gaming concession tender process is expected to be announced in early December, as the negotiation stage between accepted bidders and the Macau government concluded on Tuesday. That is according to a report by the Portuguese-language radio service of public broadcaster TDM, Radio Macau.
Macau’s six incumbent casino concessionaires and a newcomer, GMM Ltd – the latter a unit of Genting Malaysia Bhd – are now each in the process of bidding for one of up to six, 10-year new concessions. The government has said it hopes the new concessions can begin in January.
After completing the consultation and negotiation phase, the Macau government committee overseeing the tender process must prepare a detailed report, indicating which six proposals present the “most advantageous conditions” for Macau, reported on Wednesday the media outlet.
Within 15 days, the companies taking part in the tender process “should be notified of the decision,” said Radio Macau, adding that the city’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, “should soon afterwards publish an executive order awarding the provisional licences”.
Following the opening of the proposals in mid-September and a few rounds of negotiation, Macau tender bidders were told to up their spending proposals, specifically related to non-gaming investment.
Credit Suisse AG had said in an October note that a new generation of Macau casino concessionaires might each have to spend between HKD10 billion (US$1.27 billion) and HKD20 billion across 10 years, on non-gaming activities pledged in return for gaming rights issued by the local government.
In Wednesday’s report, Radio Macau said the bidders submitted their respective final proposal by Monday, followed by a round of meetings on Tuesday. The Macau government had asked the bidders to focus their proposals on additional tourism offerings and cultural events. These included: creating an art museum; outlining an annual plan for concerts, events and conventions; creating themed entertainment offerings of international standard; and launching maritime excursions.
JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd said in July that key financial details – e.g. size of investment commitment, concession premium, possible lease fee for reverted gaming assets, etc – of the up to six new Macau gaming concessions might only be clarified once “provisional” winning bidders are decided.
On Wednesday, Lei Wai Nong, Secretary for Economy and Finance, gave some commentary on his department’s policy focus regarding non-gaming. He was speaking at the Legislative Assembly following last week’s announcement of the local government’s Policy Address for Fiscal Year 2023.
Mr Lei said Macau had to change its “gambling city image”, and develop non-gaming elements as a new segment, describing that as a key mission for the coming 10 years. Hence, that had become part of the government’s requirements to be addressed by those competing in the gaming concession public tender, he stated.
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