Macau’s Legislative Assembly has scheduled for Wednesday (April 20) a first reading of a new consolidating bill relating to junket business and and also satellite casinos. The bill, “Regime for the exploitation of games of chance”, sets out the definitions of casino-sector management companies, junkets, and collaborators.
The bill is separate from another key piece of legislation: an amendment bill relating to the city’s existing gaming law. Both are due to be passed prior to a fresh public tender for Macau gaming rights. The six existing permits are due to expire this year.
In relation to the new consolidating bill, the Macau government recognises a management company as an entity that manages all or part of a casino of a gaming concessionaire. Historically, that has covered management services at so-called satellite casinos.
The new, consolidating bill sets out licensing and approval requirements for the management companies, junkets and collaborators, as well as the regulatory framework applicable to these parties. The bill also covers the joint liabilities that Macau’s gaming concessionaires have to bear if partnering either with management companies, junkets, or junket collaborators.
The bill proposes criminal penalties against what the authorities term “illegal taking of deposits” from the general public by either junkets, collaborators or management companies. It covers deposits in the form of cash, gaming chips or other instruments. The bill suggests offenders could face a sentence of between two to five years in prison.
The consolidating measure will need to be put to a vote of legislators. They can propose amendments to the legislation before the vote is taken.
The Legislative Assembly has aimed to approve by mid-August this new bill, said local legislator Chan Chak Mo last month. Mr Chan also heads an assembly committee tasked with scrutinising the gaming law amendment bill.
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