The Macau government has given further information on how the city’s so-called “satellite” casino-hotels should tie the ownership of their respective gaming venues to one of the next generation of Macau gaming concessions, as required by the new regulatory framework for casino gaming, said legislator Chan Chak Mo on Thursday.
He was briefing the local media after a Legislative Assembly committee he heads – and which is scrutinising the government’s gaming law amendment bill – had met with government officials on Thursday.
Macau satellites are venues controlled by independent investors, but which have piggybacked currently on the gaming licence of one of the existing concessionaires. Satellites can still exist under the proposed new regulatory system, but they will each be given a three-year grace period to tie the ownership of their gaming premises to any of the city’s six concessionaires, the bill stated.
The “start” of the three-year grace period will align with the start date of the city’s new gaming concessions, that will be allocated after a fresh public tender, legislator Mr Chan noted to reporters, citing a briefing from the city’s government. The launch date of the 10-year new concessions is yet to be confirmed, though one brokerage thinks it will be early in 2023.
During the grace period, the satellite casino owners have to sell – on a strata title basis – ownership of the physical gaming space to any of the Macau gaming concessionaires then in place.
“Apart from carving out the gaming premises by strata title, it can also be done by the [floor space] ratio, according to the government explanation,” Mr Chan said.
The legislator added: “For instance, if the [satellite] gaming space occupies one-tenth of the whole building’s [floor area], then, as long as this one-tenth part can be illustrated with the relevant construction plan, [a] gaming concessionaire is just required to acquire the gaming space”, instead of the whole building that houses it.
The bill has also specified what counts as a “casino”, said Mr Chan. It means spaces where there are: zones for gambling; cashiers; and entrances and exits as well as monitoring zones for gaming floor facilities; and storage spaces for gaming chips and cash; as well as the relevant logistics area.
The Macau government delegates are to continue discussion of the bill with the Legislative Assembly’s committee headed by Mr Chan.
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