Macau to Extend Casino Licenses, TDM Reports

Local Macau broadcaster TDM has reported that the government of the special administrative region will likely sign a new casino license extension on June 23. According to the reports, casino operators’  licenses will be extended for six additional months.

Each Concessionaire Will Have to Pay $5.8 Million

The extension comes as no surprise, considering the fact that the licenses of all six Macau concessionaires were set to expire this month. There are six concessionaires in the region – Sands China, SJM Holdings, Melco Resorts, Wynn Macau, MGM China, and Galaxy Entertainment.

Recently, Macau’s Legislative Assembly Second Standing Committee discussed the possibility of providing the operators with tax breaks if they manage to bring in foreign customers. Foreign tourism has been problematic in the recent period due to mainland China’s zero-COVID policy.

If approved, the licenses of concessionaires will be valid through December 31, 2022, and the good thing about it is that it allows for the rebidding process to have more time. The legislature of the city is also due to approve an amended gaming law, which will lay the standards for the gambling industry.

Macau is the only region in China where gambling is legal and if the extension is greenlit, each operator will have to pay around $5.8 million.

The New Laws Will Not Undermine Satellite Casinos

Ho Iat Seng, the chief executive of Macau, said the major satellite casinos in the region will remain operational and the new laws will not undermine them.

According to Seng, none of the laws that are being forged will roll back the progress of the casino industry in the region. On the contrary, the new laws are being made so that the region can stay up to date with the latest developments in gambling and take the latest trends into consideration.

He was quoted by a local media outlet, GCS, and the report of this outlet noted that the only companies that would not be able to operate satellite casinos are those whose contract has been terminated by concessionaires or sub-concessionaries.

One of the most recent rule changes in Macau concerns junket operators who are not unable to accept Macau casino deposits. Junkets have been shutting down in the region and that made things a bit hard for concessionaires as Credit Suisse analysts noted that the shutdown may have a long-term implication on the casinos.

The main reason why the casinos might be in a bad spot is that the bank estimates that they may have as much as $6.4 billion in junket frozen funds. Kenneth Fong, Lok Kan Chan, and Sardonna Fong, the Credit Suisse analysts, went on to say that the minimum amount of frozen funds that the concessionaires in Macau may have is $3.82 billion.

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