What Should Be Done Before New Macau Gambling Law Adoption

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Article by : Helen Dec 8, 2020

Though the casino tender will take place in 2022, the process of casino statuses’ rationalization started several years ago. There are six casino operators in Macau, and their statutes can’t be reviewed as the city’s new gaming framework hasn’t been created yet. There is a place for some incentives to casinos, but for this, new gaming laws must be prepared. Taking into account the current situation with the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Macau lawmakers don’t have sufficient time for solving issues. Despite this, the local government claimed they are trying to comply with the schedule and affirmed the goal of introducing the draft of the new laws in 2021. However, the draft may be presented to the Legislative Assembly in the Q4 in 2021. Accordingly, the tender process that is expected to take place in 2022 might face some problems as well.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, the new gambling laws were supposed to be introduced by the summer of 2021. Before adopting a new law, there must be some initial investigations conducted, and in Macau’s case, this groundwork has started, but it has been delayed because of COVID-19. Before the draft is given to the Legislative Assembly for approval, the public consultation process will take place. For this reason, it is necessary to set the groundwork before this consultation.

Earlier in April 2020, Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Lat Seng, said that the city’s government had planned to launch a public consultation in the second half of the year. Before the lawmakers revise the existing law, public consultation is done to gather public opinions that are usually used as a reference for a new law.

These are the procedures we have to follow.

Ho Lat Seng, Macau’s Chief Executive

The current term of the Legislative Assembly in Macau has to end in the summer of 2021, and the new members will be elected in September of the same year. That’s why it is essential to initiate preparations and pass the new draft as soon as possible to avoid further delay. Several days ago, there was a plenary session of the Legislative Assembly, and Ho Lat Seng attended it to answer some questions. There are provisions for providing the smooth re-tender process in accordance with plans. On the other hand, it means that the gambling industry in Macau is going to be under constant monitoring. In the course of 2021, the focus will be more on a thorough audit of local junkets and the operations related to their customer account management. Around 126 licensed junkets are operating in Macau. When Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau completed the fiscal audit, the results showed that some of those operators had been providing false records. So, the government is eager to check if the junket’s physical activity matches the results.

Mr. Ho has recently delivered at the Legislative Assembly the Policy Address for the Fiscal Year 2021, outlined ten strands of public policy and some of them regards the casinos. He emphasized that “stable and healthy development of the gaming industry” should be promoted, and there is the need to “commence preparatory and preliminary work for the new gaming concessions.” In addition, casino operators have to be prepared for changes in reporting revenues and conducting online transactions.

Macau is still recovering after COVID-19 as far as the gaming industry has lost millions of expected revenues. Unfortunately, there is not too much time for moving the gaming operation in Macau forward.

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Helen

Chief Editor

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