Macau To Evaluate Gaming Economy Prior To License Renewals

December 6, 2017 by Paul Butcher

Macau has taken its first step in its confidential licensing plan strategy by commissioning a special study of the current gaming landscape. Lionel Leong Vai Tac, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance said last month that the government would be very cautious about sharing details regarding their revised rules on casino concession renewal.

This is an effort from Macau to keep other jurisdictions from adjusting their policies accordingly, and to create a sustainable development plan for their gaming sector. Now an advisor to the Macau government reported to local media that the government’s first step into drafting a revised casino concession plan is to commission a study on Macau’s gaming sector and the possible effects and costs of its development from 2020 to 2030.

Inside Asian Gaming

Gaming licenses of the six casino operators in Macau are set to expire between this period. SJM Holdings and MGM China will see their game licenses expire March 2020, while licenses of Sands China, Melco Resorts, Galaxy Entertainment and Wynn Macau will expire in June 2022. This is why the period between 2020 to 2030 will be crucial for the Macau government in terms of devising a new licensing strategy as it will set a new trend of what Macau endorses in terms of both gaming and non-gaming amenities.

Davis Fong Ka Chio, head of Macau’s Economic Development committee and associate professor at the University of Macau said the study will provide the Macau government with an overview of what the gaming industry could be like during this period. The study primary goal of the study would be to set the recommended number of gaming licenses the government should issue come 2020, and review the possible renewal of the six current Macau operators.

Fong also shared that he commissioned study will be composed of two parts. The first part will be a survey of the locals’ view of the gaming industry. The second part will be focused on creating a development plan for a “healthier” gaming industry for Macau. This would entail expanding non-gaming amenities and preparing to handle growing competition from neighbouring countries.

The University of Macau is one of the institutions who will be completing the study. The full report is expected to be completed before the third quarter of 2018. This is right on time with Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On’s promise to reveal more details about the extension of gaming concessions.