Macau to hold public consultation to review city’s gambling law
The amount of gaming licenses and the extension of each concession will be the main topics of the sessions, which will take place on September 20 with gaming companies and junkets only, and the other four will be for the public on September 29, October 9 . , 13 and 19. Other issues to be resolved involve the introduction of non-gaming elements into the licensing framework and new regulatory requirements to be applied to licensees.
Macau will begin a public consultation on Wednesday, September 15 with regard to the revision of the city games law, according to Gaming Inspection and Coordination Office (also known as DICJ), the regulator of Macau. The public comment period will last until October 29.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Lei Wai Nong, Macau secretary for economy and finance, mentioned a public policy aspiration contained in Macao’s latest five-year development plan, which implies the growth of the gambling industry through improvements in the casino regulatory system. He also mentioned a public policy goal to increase the competitiveness of the city’s casino industry.
However, he declined to comment when asked if the Macau government would seek to expand current gambling concessions. He also failed to comment on the timeline for completing the city’s gaming law review, which is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year.
One of the main topics to be discussed during the consultation will be the license system, and the number of licenses to be granted.
Currently, the largest gaming center in the world has six gaming licenses, four of them, held by Melco PBL Gaming (Macau), Galaxy Entertainment Group, Venetian macau and Wynn Macau, expire in 2022, unless authorities grant some form of limited extension, as permitted by current Macau Gaming Law.
Lei mentioned during the briefing that the consultation will cover nine main topics, in which the public will be invited to comment on issues such as the amount of concessions there should be, the duration of any new concession period, new regulatory requirements to apply to dealers, measures to protect local employment, among others.
The authorities will also examine introduce non-game elements as part of the license, as the industry corporate social responsibility, and how tackling the problem of deposits made by private investors in the gaming sectors, among others. There will be ffive in-person consultation sessions led by the gaming regulator. The first will take place on September 20 with game companies and junkets only. The other four will be accessible to the public on September 29, October 9, 13 and 19.