Macau Set for Two Year Gambling Law Review
Macau is due to begin a two-year renewal period for the area’s six licensed casino operators. However, before new terms are agreed with the operators, officials have said that they intend to review and strengthen the industry’s laws and regulations.
The region’s top government official, Chief Executive Chui Sai On, said that nearly all aspects of the gambling market are due to be reconsidered. Chui said that the aim is to ensure that casinos are following the rules but also to make sure that they are working to transform Macau from a gambling only destination to one that caters to the mass market. He said that the regulations on junket operators will also be reconsidered
MGM China and SJM Holding’s gaming licenses will expire in March 2020 while the four others, Sands China, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, and Melco Resorts, will expire in June 2022.
However, he gave very few specifics about what regulatory areas may be strengthened and just said that the application of laws governing gambling will be subject to increased supervision.
The news set the region’s gaming stocks tumbling with Melco falling 3.7%, MGM falling 1.65% and the others dropping around 0.3%
In recent months Macau has been recovering from an anti-corruption campaign that saw gaming revenue fall from $45 billion in 2013 to less than $28 billion last year. Part of the recovery strategy was the development of attractions for non-gamblers and it is likely that the regulatory overview will seek to build on this.
Chui said that they want to develop more family friendly hotels as well as theme parks, shopping centres, restaurants and more.