Macau’s six casino operators were to see their concessions expire at different times—two were set to expire in 2020 and the remaining four in 2022. Per Macau law, 2022 was to be the deadline for all concession licenses, making it difficult to determine how to proceed due to the differing expiration dates. That problem has been solved, as the two licenses expiring next year have been extended until 2022, but there has still been some confusion regarding how a new tender process would play out and that issue has now been addressed by Macau’s chief executive, Fernando Chui.
According to Chui, the new public tender process for the concessions will coincide with the expirations in 2022. By postponing the expirations of MGM China and SJM Holdings—set to expire next year—to 2022, there is now plenty of time for regulators and legislators to prepare for a public tender renewal process.
While speaking in front of Macau’s Legislative Assembly last Thursday, Chui asserted, “I think that the Macau government has now sufficient conditions to launch a public tender, and that involves some internal work and amendments to existing legislation. We have sufficient time to make amendments to legislation and time to prepare the tender.”
The details of the new tender process have been kept under wraps. There was initially some concern, due to how Macau’s laws were written, that the new concessions would require a completely new bidding process, but it is now predicted that the six operators will retain their control over the city. There has also been talk of Macau forcing the elimination of the large number of satellite casinos in the city, or at least putting a cap on the number, but there has yet to be anything definitive announced.
Macau wants to become a more diversified tourism destination, attracting not only gamblers, but solo travelers and families. As such, and over the course of the next several years, it is going to implement changes that are designed to allow the city to appear less of an almost pure gambling destination and more of a wholesome travel destination.