Macau’s Legislative Assembly (pictured) is scheduled to hold on Tuesday, June 21, a second-reading debate and final vote on a government-backed bill to revise the city’s gaming law.
Members of a legislature committee scrutinising the gaming law amendment bill signed off their concluding opinions on Wednesday. The second draft of the bill, published that day, included several changes from the original draft that had been approved by legislators in a first-reading vote in January.
The amendment bill says that up to six new concessions will be permitted, with a maximum term of 10 years, with a three-year extension possible under certain circumstances.
It also introduces a formal cap on the number of casino tables and gaming machines in the local market, and a minimum annual target of casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) that the city’s six operators will have to meet.
The latest draft also sets the tax payable on casino GGR at 40 percent, although it gives an incumbent Macau chief executive the discretion to reduce such tax burden by up to five percentage points for “reasons of public interest”, “namely” attracting “customers from foreign countries”.
The government has said previously Macau’s gaming law needs to be updated as a linked issue to a fresh public tender process for Macau gaming rights associated with the expiry of the current permits.
The licences of the six Macau casino operators had been due to expire on June 26, but the city’s government had invited the operators to apply to extend them until the end of the calendar year, as the Macau authorities work to prepare a fresh public tender process.
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"Genting was always facing an uphill battle to displace an existing concessionaire"
Founder of consultancy Newpage Consulting