Lei Wai Nong, Secretary for Economy and Finance has announced that all of Macao’s six concessionaires will have their licenses extended by six months.
Gaming licenses are currently held by SJM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, Galaxy Casino, Venetian Macau, MGM and Melco Resorts.
Secretary Lei made the announcement today after a Legislative Assembly meeting of the standing committee which was debating amendments to the future gaming law. Lei said that if the Legislative Assembly approved the draft law by June, the government would be able to start the work required for the gaming-concession retendering process in the second half of this year.
Lei did not mention, however, a date that the government plans to launch the public tender.
During the debate of the law over the past weeks, Chan Chak Mo, president of the committee suggested that the government extend gaming licenses for another year.
The draft bill that is under discussion in the Legislative Assembly sets a maximum of six gaming concessions that can operate for up to ten years, with a 3-year extension possible under exceptional circumstances. The government also does not plan to raise its gross gaming revenue tax rate from the current 35 per cent, which has been in place for over two decades.
There are no indications of how much the concessionaires have to pay to have their contracts extended but in 2019, SJM and MGM China’s gaming concessions were extended for two years to mid-2022 with each paying an additional US$25 million (MOP 200 million) for the extension.
Macao’s gross gaming revenue increased 22.3 per cent month-on-month in February to some MOP 7.7 billion (US$963.8 million).
According to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) February’s GGR tally rose 6.1 per cent on February 2021’s MOP 7.31 billion.
In the first two months of the year the sector reported MOP 14.1 billion, an 8 per cent drop from the same period last year.
At the end of last year, the gaming industry operated 6,198 gaming tables and 11,658 slot machines.