Six casinos are due to renew their licenses in Macau in 2020. However, there is still no policy in place to address the issue, and it doesn’t look like there will be one next year, either.
The city’s chief executive, Fernando Chui Sai On, gave a speech yesterday, presenting the government’s policy for 2019. Absent the details was any discussion on the licensing process, other than to say that the government is still working on it.
Chui explained, “Taking into consideration that the existing gaming concession contracts expire in either 2020 or 2022, we will strengthen the studies on this matter, and garner the community’s opinion about this issue.”
In a subsequent press conference, the city leader was asked specifically about the renewal process for the casinos twice, but neglected to offer any substantial information. He only offered, “Before the licences expire by 2022, we will be launching the tender process. Regarding those licences that expire two years earlier , we’re studying how to deal with it. There is still some time to go before 2020 and 2022. We will inform the public about this matter in an open and transparent manner.”
The last policy address was presented in November of last year. At the time, Chui said that the middle of this year would be the “appropriate time” to discuss the licensing process further. Perhaps he’s looking at a different calendar than the rest of us.
Two studies have been commissioned by Macau’s government to look into developing the city’s gaming market between 2020 and 2023, according to the Macau Economic Bureau. The results were expected during the third quarter of this year, but there has yet to be any information published on those studies.
Per existing legal policies, license won’t actually be renewed. Instead, a new public tender process would be opened. There has been a lot of discussion of authorizing a renewal in order to bring all casino concessions issued by authorities in line so they would expire at the same time.
While Chui didn’t discuss license renewals, he did address junkets. He said that the government would continue its promotion next year of allowing more non-gaming entities into the industry, adding that local authorities would be pushing casino operators to work more with small- and medium-sized companies for their products and services.