Macau Forms Committee to Evaluate License Bidders

Macau will evaluate the bidders for the region’s new casino licenses. To that end, the special administrative region’s government unveiled a new committee. The latter will take a close look into the applicants.

Macau to Soon Re-Tender Its Casino Licenses

Macau recently allowed its current concessionaires to remain operational for six more months. The government plans to use that time to examine new applicants. The region has to decide on the next casino license holders by the end of the year.

In addition, the extended period allowed Macau to revise its gaming laws ahead of issuing new licenses. The region recently introduced the amendments and will now focus on reissuing its six casino licenses.

Currently, the six concessionaires allowed to operate in Macau are Galaxy Entertainment, MGM China, Melco Resorts, Sands China, SJM Holdings and Wynn Macau. The current concessionaires are may try to keep their position but will have to submit an application by the end of August. This applies to their challengers as well.

A Committee Will Evaluate the Applicants

As mentioned, Macau established a new committee that will evaluate the applicants. The committee will be responsible for deciding whether they are suitable to become the next concessionaires. The government notified aspiring concessionaires that the committee will have the full authority to analyze bidders and make decisions about whether they should be granted a contract or not.

The special administrative region’s government then confirmed a few of the panel members. Some of them include Adriano Ho, head of Macau’s gambling regulator, Cheong Weng Chon, the region’s justice chief, Li Wai Nong, finance and economy chief and Marina Helena de Senna Fernandes, head of Macau’s tourism board.

Macau Keeps on Struggling

Macau’s gambling industry keeps on struggling because of its recent problems with COVID-19 and China’s overall zero-COVID policy. The virus reduced the flow of people from mainland China from entering Macau and therefore led to record-low gambling revenues.

To make matters worse, casinos were forced to work at a decreased capacity before shutting down for a week. Luckily, the week-long quarantine paid off and helped to inhibit the spread of COVID. Despite that, casinos will now have to obey the consolidation period rules and carefully check all of their customers for COVID symptoms. During this period, casinos may operate only 20% of their tables and have to maintain a safe distance between different tables.

Specialists believe that the region will recover but warn that this recovery may take a few years.  

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