Macau Launches New Non-Gaming Referral Scheme Involving Casino Operators
- The new scheme will allow local associations to receive support from casino operators on non-gaming projects
- It will be facilitated by the Cultural Affairs Bureau and the Sport Development Board
- The referral scheme is part of the government’s efforts to develop the city’s cultural and sports tourism
The Macau government has further boosted its support for non-gaming initiatives in the city with the establishment of a referral mechanism that will benefit local associations focused on developing projects connected to culture or sports.
Under the new system, local groups and entities may receive some form of support from casino operators in completing their non-gaming projects.
Casino Operators to Support Non-Gaming Initiatives by Local Orgs
The referral process will be facilitated by Macau’s Cultural Affairs Bureau, in partnership with the Sport Development Board. The new system will see both agencies forward non-gaming proposals from local individuals, organizations, or companies to casino operators.
The operators will then independently review each proposal to determine how they can help. But the government has made it clear in a press release on July 4 that any non-gaming proposal must be within the scope of the scheme. Otherwise, it would not be referred to the casino operators.
The Macau government is placing its focus on diversification to drive positive economic growth and development, and part of the long-term plan is to invigorate the city’s cultural and sports tourism, with the support of the casino industry.
The new referral mechanism is aimed at actively promoting the support of major integrated tourism and leisure enterprises and providing the casino sector with more opportunities for contact with various community resources, the press release stated.
Non-gaming investment was among key aspects considered by authorities during the casino tender process in 2022 where six operators were granted 10-year gaming concessions that began in January 2023.
Overall, the six operators promised to spend a minimum of MOP108.7 billion (US$13.48 billion) on non-gaming projects and attracting more foreign customers to the city. The will then increase that by up to 20% for the next 10 years if Macau’s annual gross gaming revenue hits MOP180 billion.
Enhancing Support for Cultural and Sports Events
Local associations make a huge contribution to the development of Macau’s cultural and sports activities as they are responsible for organizing and supporting several non-gaming events in the city.
However, over the past few years, government support for such initiatives has declined, partly due to a drop in government tax revenue as a result of the pandemic. There are also other factors relate to the changes in the granting of subsidies for cultural and sports events.