Ambrose So Shu Fai, vice chairman and chief executive of Macau gaming operator SJM Holdings Ltd, says the company is “optimistic” in keeping its casino licence. That is according to Wednesday comments to local public broadcaster TDM.
“Of course, we are optimistic about the renewal of the gaming licences coming up” next year, stated Mr So (pictured in a file photo). “SJM is a company rooted in Macau and I think we stand a very good chance of winning [a new licence],” he added.
The Macau government has said previously that there will be a new public tender process associated to the expiry of the current licences in 2022, although Macau’s gaming law is due to be amended prior to such a process. Pending a fresh public tender, Macau’s current gaming law allows for extension of the existing licences up to a maximum of five years from the original 20-year term.
Mr So also said he thought U.S.-based casino operators in Macau should not face headwinds because of political tensions between China and the United States. “If they [U.S.-based casino operators] obey the law and they support Macau, I think they should be welcomed rather than punished,” he told the local broadcaster.
As part of the gaming law revision process, the Macau government held a public consultation process to gather opinions on the topic from operators and the general public. The public consultation period ran from September 15 until October 29.
The Morgan Stanley banking group said in a recent note it expected three events related with the licensing issue to be resolved in the “next six months”. That included the publication of the report on the public consultation regarding the review of Macau’s gaming law; unveiling by the government of a new draft of the gaming law; and such bill being approved by the city’s Legislative Assembly.
“Each of these events will provide clarity even if we expect temporary extension of license renewals beyond June 2022,” wrote the Morgan Stanley team.
The Secretary for Administration and Justice, Cheong Weng Chon, said last week the government should only submit next year to Macau’s Legislative Assembly a proposal to revise the city’s gaming law.
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