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Macau delays public consultation for new gaming laws

The Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has cancelled the public consultation meeting for the gaming law amendments that was scheduled for 9 October 202

he participants will reportedly be informed separately about the changes to the date. The cancellation was due to the growing cases of Covid-19 in Macau.

The consultation is meant to shed some light on the changes the Macau gaming industry is going through. It mostly involves a new gambling policy and the renewal of existing gambling licences.

Currently, the six concessions will expire in June 2022, and Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong stated the number of concessions might be reduced. “The gambling industry has caused problems in society and shown deficiencies in its supervision,” he said. The casinos are urged to change the way they operate, and will likely need to take a closer look at junkets.

Reportedly, the new changes were partly inspired by China’s influence, however, MGM Resorts Chief Executive Bill Hornbuckle is unconcerned that the mainland could have a lasting impact. “Until proven wrong, I’m not and we’re not overreacting to what is being hyped or said,” said Hornbuckle. “We are hoping rational minds control in the end because this is the Macau economy.” He hopes Macau will recognise the value operators bring to the community.

In 2019, casinos in Macau reported $36.6bn in revenue, a huge leap from $6.6bn earned in Las Vegas. Even with no official information about the issuance of new licences, it’s unlikely Macau will remove any of the big operators, such as Sands China, MGM China or Wynn Macau.

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