Macau casino operators have welcomed the government’s decision to extend for about six months their gaming licences, to December 31. The six operators confirmed to GGRAsia they were already preparing the required documentation to apply for such an extension.
Macau’s current casino concessions and sub-concessions were due to expire on June 26.
Lei Wai Nong, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, said on Thursday that the government had requested gaming operators to submit relevant documents for it to proceed and approve the extension of their licences. He added that the authorities had not yet received any relevant application regarding such an extension.
Casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd said it “welcomes the Macau SAR government’s decision to extend the existing gaming concessions.”
In a written statement, the firm added: “We are committed to participating in the extension application as well as the tendering process, and remain fully confident that Melco can remain a key contributor to Macau’s community.”
The city’s legislature is discussing a bill to amend the existing gaming law, which is to be approved ahead of a new public tender regarding fresh gaming rights. The Macau government has proposed in its gaming law amendment bill that there will be no more than six concessions, and no sub-concessions, available under the new tender.
Brokerage JP Morgan Securities said on Thursday it now expected a new public tender process for Macau casino rights to commence in the third quarter this year, with permits to be awarded in the fourth quarter, ready for a new 10-year licence period coinciding with the start of 2023.
Sands China Ltd said it would be “submitting an extension application” to the Macau authorities, adding that it welcomed the six-month extension to December 31, 2022.
In a statement, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd said it welcomed the government’s decision and “fully supports all related work.”
“Galaxy Entertainment will prepare for the extension and the tendering process for gaming concessions,” it stated.
The firm added that it appreciated the “optimal efficiency and the great importance” attached to the gaming law amendment bill, which is expected to be approved by the Legislative Assembly by June this year.
The release quoted Lui Che Woo, Galaxy Entertainment’s chairman, as saying that the company “plans to invest over MOP100 billion [US$12.4 billion] in total in Macau, including nearly MOP50 billion” for the upcoming Phases 3 and 4 of its flagship property in Cotai, Galaxy Macau.
MGM China Holdings Ltd said it “supports the Macau SAR government’s plan on the extension” of the existing gaming concessions. “The company will comply with the relevant requirements by completing the procedures on the submission of the application for the extension of the gaming concession,” it added.
Wynn Macau Ltd said the revised gaming law in Macau would “facilitate the healthy, orderly development of the industry.”
It added: “We look forward to working closely with the government and actively participating in the public tender process, while at the same time preparing our application to extend the current concession in line with the relevant requirements.”
SJM Resorts SA, the local unit of SJM Holdings Ltd, also said it welcomed the government’s intention to extend the gaming concessions to the end of this year, adding that the company was “prepared to apply for the extension.”
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