Macau’s Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, has made it clear for the first time that the city’s six gaming licences, which are due to expire in June 2022, will be extended in accordance with current laws if the planned re-tendering process cannot be completed in time.
Mr Ho made the remarks on Tuesday evening during a press briefing after he delivered the government’s Policy Address for the next year. The policy document contains over 100,000 words in Chinese but only a short paragraph of 150 words is devoted to the gaming sector – the pillar industry of Macau.
In his annual Policy Address, the Chief Executive did not give any timetable on the review of Macau’s gaming law, which is a pre-condition for the re-tendering of casino licences. The document merely stressed the government’s commitment to the healthy development of the gaming industry.
When asked by Allin Media about the imminent expiry of the current licences during the press conference, Mr Ho said the government was compiling the opinions collected from the public consultation on the gaming law revision and would press ahead with the amendment process accordingly.
He stated that the government had to do things step by step, adding that the current licences would be extended in accordance with current laws if the re-tendering could not be completed before the expiry.
Macau’s current gaming law allows for extension of the existing licences, for up to a maximum of five years from the original 20-year term.
The Chief Executive also reiterated the government’s determination to facilitate sound development of the gaming industry, and noted that the government would not stand in the way of the sector’s healthy growth.