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New bill to allow exceptional adjustments to gaming tables and slot machines minimum receipts

Lawmakers drill down on final detail as bill to reshape gaming industry heads toward Legislative Assembly on 26 June.

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Lawmakers drill down on final detail as bill to reshape gaming industry heads toward Legislative Assembly on 26 June.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

The local government will allow exceptional adjustments to the official requirements for the minimum annual receipts of each gaming table and slot machine in the city’s casinos, lawmaker-cum-restaurateur Andrew Chan Chak Mo has revealed.

Chan spoke out following yesterday’s closed-door meeting of the 2nd Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly about the revision of a government-drafted amendment bill on reshaping the local gaming industry. 

Chan, who is the committee chairman, said that the officially stipulated minimum annual receipts of each gaming table and slot machine in the casinos would be adjusted according to their previous minimum annual receipts, as well as the overall local economic situation. 

He said that this was to allow more flexibility in the adjustment process if, for example, a pandemic were to break out again and have a negative socio-economic impact.

According to the previous version of the bill, the secretary for economy and finance might take the initiative to reduce the number of approved gaming tables and slot machines if they fail to reach the officially stipulated minimum annual receipts for two consecutive years.

While the previous version of the bill proposed that the total number of gaming tables and slot machines must be set by the chief executive, the new version of the bill proposes that the specific maximum number of gaming tables and slot machines per casino would depend on the government’s policy on the development of the gaming industry, the operating conditions of the casinos, as well as the utilisation rate of the respective gaming tables and slot machines.

According to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Macao had 6,198 gaming tables and 11,758 slot machines at the end of last year.

The previous version of the bill proposed that shareholders holding more than five per cent of a gaming company’s shares would not be allowed to own capital in other gaming companies, but the new version of the bill proposes to allow shareholders to own “no more than five per cent” of the capital of other gaming companies.

Chan said that the committee would meet today to review the remaining revision, after which the government was expected to complete its new revision of the bill so that a plenary session of the legislature could vote on the bill’s final version on or before 26 June.

The government announced on Friday that it would give the green light to concessionaires’ so-called “satellite casinos” run by third parties in real-estate not owned by the operators. The previous version would have required the “satellite casinos” to be located only on premises owned by the concessionaires.

The number of “satellite casinos” owned by gaming operators but run by third parties – junkets in particular – ranges between 18 and 22, The Macau Post Daily reported. 

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

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