Macau’s casino and junket operators will have the opportunity to ask questions and express their views on proposed changes to the city’s gaming laws when the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ ) is hosting the first of five face-to-face counseling sessions today.
The session, scheduled to last two and a half hours from 3 p.m., will be the one and only opportunity for casinos and junkets to formally state their case, with the remaining four consultation sessions, on September 29, October 9, October 13 and October 19, designated for the public.
Operators contacted by Inside the Asian Game over the weekend they said they were still assessing how they would approach today’s session after the publication of proposed amendments to the gambling law on Tuesday evening last week.
The government’s proposals sparked a (presumably irrational) stock market panic the next day, Wednesday, September 15, which wiped out the market capitalization of Hong Kong-listed entities from Macau’s six concessionaires by 26%.
As reported by AGIa 45-day public comment period began last Wednesday on a series of proposed changes, including the abolition of sub-licences under Macau’s gaming concession system, modification of license terms and increased monitoring of gambling activities by the government.
The government has suggested reconsidering the current 20-year expiration period for gaming incense, possibly reduced to just 10 years, as well as increasing the minimum capital required of gaming dealers and increasing the minimum share capital percentage owned by permanent residents of Macau in concessionaires. .
Among the more controversial proposals is the appointment of a government official to a position within each gaming concessionaire to directly oversee operations, possibly as a board of directors, as part of measures to strengthen industry control. The government has also proposed having the power to conduct reviews of all hired staff of gaming concessions, junket operators and associated companies to ensure they are suitable people whether or not they are considered “key employees”.
Despite an already significant contribution to corporate social responsibility initiatives, the government has made an even greater focus on the future in areas such as the employment, welfare and career advancement of local residents – especially those in disability, focusing on local shopping and SMEs, environment, charity, education, science and culture.
The proposed amendments to the Macau Gaming Law focus on four major policy directions: strengthening social responsibility, encouraging the expansion of non-gaming elements, strengthening government regulations of the industry for healthy development, and matching legal effects and penalties for non-compliance.
The current licenses of the six Macau casino licensees and sub-licensees expire on June 26, 2022.