Macau government remains tight-lipped on gaming license re-tendering

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The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, and the Director of Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), Adriano Ho, presented at the Legislative Assembly (AL) on Monday to listen to opinions about the re-tendering of gaming licenses from legislators.

Secretary Lei told media afterwards that the SAR government would seriously listen to opinions from various sectors of the society, but added it was not the right time to reveal details.

According to the president of the ALs Monitoring Committee for Land and Public Concession Affairs, Lei Cheng I, legislators are concerned about the process of public consultation for proposed amendments to Macaus gaming law, the re-tendering process and the number of gaming licenses to be issued. Nevertheless, details remain light.

Some legislators also asked the government to update the interim review of a gaming research report in 2016 in order to better review the latest developments within the gaming industry in Macau, especially given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government emphasized that the public consultation will start in the second half of this year, Lei said. The government only listened to legislators views on this meeting and did not reveal more details about the gaming licenses issues.

The 6th term of the AL will end on 15 August with elections ahead of the new term to be held on 15 September. Lei said he does not believe the government will submit its public consultation document to the AL by the end of this term.

Several suggestions were raised by legislators Monday such as encouraging and extending cooperation between gaming operators and local SMEs, promoting moderate diversity for the tourism industry, and finding new sources of customers.

We expressed our views collected from the society about this topic and hope the government will consider our views when making the consultation document as well as launching the re-tendering process, Lei said.