With less than 12 months before the expiry of Macau’s six gaming licences, the government will hardly have enough time to complete the public consultation exercise and the law amendments required for the licence re-tendering and therefore should seriously consider the option of renewing the current licences for up to three years.
This is according to legislator and academic Fong Ka Chio, who echoed the opinions of many industry observers in a recent interview by newspaper Macao Daily calling for the renewal of the current licences.
According to Fong, the public consultation on the re-tendering, which is scheduled to be launched in the latter half of this year, is expected to take at least three months based on previous experience. That will leave about nine months for the amendment of relevant laws and the re-tendering exercise itself. Fong believed that such a tight time frame had made choosing the new concessionaires before June 2022 nearly impossible.
The government-appointed legislator suggested that the time constraints, coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic, meant it would be wise to renew the current licences for up to three years.
He also noted that during the amendment process of gaming laws, the Macau government should closely follow the central government’s gaming policy, especially regarding the development of online gambling.
He added that the regulation of satellite casinos and franchise agreements are two other major areas that the government should look into during the re-tendering.