Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac (pictured), said on Thursday that existing legislation does not include restrictions barring casinos from Coloane, an area next door to Cotai.
Mr Leong told local reporters that the government would assess any request for a casino and “consider all the requisites”, namely if such project helped to develop Macau as an entertainment and leisure destination.
He added however that the government had received no request so far for any casino in Coloane. The area is considered Macau’s “green lung”, being the only major part of the city currently without any casino.
Secretary Leong was answering a question about a hotel planned for Coloane, the under-construction property known as ‘The 13′.
The project, on the Cotai-Coloane border, is scheduled to open in late summer. The hotel, owned by Hong Kong-listed Louis XIII Holdings Ltd, previously had the working title ‘Louis XIII’.
Previous company information did mention plans for a casino at the property, but Louis XIII Holdings has made no mention in more recent releases of gaming facilities at the venue. The company would need to utilise the casino rights of one of Macau’s six gaming concession holders in order to operate a gambling venue at the property.
In March, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau told GGRAsia it had not received any request for a casino at ‘The 13′.
“As soon as we receive a request [for a casino in Coloane], we will analyse it in detail,” Mr Leong said on Thursday, adding that other government departments would also have to examine such request.
Mr Leong additionally said that the government would have to take into account several aspects when analysing such request, “including listening to society’s opinions”.
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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