Macau legislator calls for clarification on required non-gaming elements in new gaming law

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Macau legislator Ho Ion Seng has suggested the government clarify the definition of non-gaming elements under the SARs new gaming law in order to strengthen its supervision of gaming concessionaires.

The government has not yet revealed any details about the re-tendering process for Macau gaming licenses, despite the fact that all six current gaming concessions are due to expire in June 2022. It has, however, stated that a public consultation period on proposed amendments to the gaming law will begin sometime in the second half of 2021.

Providing his statement via written interpellations to the Secretariat for Economy and Finance, Ho urged the government to reveal the progress of its drafting of the new gaming law and the preliminary direction of any amendments.

Adding non-gaming elements is one of the solutions to help Macau reach moderate economic diversification, but the current gaming law does not require gaming operators to include non-gaming projects, and the definition of non-gaming elements is not clear, he said.

Dining and retail are the main non-gaming projects of the current six gaming operators, but this creates competition for local SMEs (Small and Medium-sized enterprises), especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ho said he therefore hopes the government will clarify the definitions non-gaming elements, and of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), when amending the gaming law, including a more specific stipulation on the required proportion of non-gaming versus gaming elements.