SJM boss doesn’t want more casino licenses in Macau; gov’t removes gambling ads

SJM boss doesn't want more casino licenses in Macau; gov't removes gambling ads;

Ambrose So, CEO of Macau casino operator SJM HoldingsSJM boss doesn't want more casino licenses in Macau; gov't removes gambling ads; , says he’s personally opposed to adding more casino licenses in Macau.

Speaking with reporters during an SJM-hosted Chinese New Year dinner, So was clear and blunt in saying the prospect of more casino licenses won’t contribute to a healthier development of Macau’s gaming industry, which is already under siege from the Chinese government’s iron grip.

So’s stance falls opposite of Macau Legend Development co-chairman and CEO David Chow Kam Fai, who earlier this month said that he’s wholly in favor of Macau offering new casino licenses to local companies. Macau Legend already operates two casinos in Macau, both of which use an SJM license.

Macau’s discussion on whether to increase the number of casino licenses beyond the current six operators is expected to begin this year.

For those opposed, new casino licenses will only add more options to a market that’s believed to be on the cusp of becoming saturated. Conversely, those pining for new licenses want to get in on the game themselves.

Meanwhile, the government’s increased crackdown on illegal gambling took another turn when it was announced that it has removed close to 2000 illegal gambling advertisements in the first six weeks of 2015.

According to Macao Daily, these advertisements, which are largely comprised of ads touting online gambling, have become prevalent on walls, taxis, and buses throughout Macau.

Macau Economic Services official Kong Son Cheong said illegal online gambling advertising has been steadily increasing since late 2014, prompting the government to take action.