The Macau government has issued provisional gaming concessions two all six operators that are currently active in the region’s land-based casino market, while Genting has missed out on a concession.

MGM Resorts International, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Las Vegas Sands, Melco Resorts, Wynn Resorts and SJM Resorts were all awarded a concession, each of which will run for a period of 10 years.

However, a concession application submitted by GMM, a subsidiary of Genting Malaysia, was not successful.

The government’s committee for the gaming concessions public tender will now negotiate with the six successful applicants on the specific details of their concession contracts. This process is expected to complete by the end of the year, with the new concessions due to come into effect from 1 January.

Macau gaming operator reactions

Sands China chairman and chief executive Robert Goldstein said that the operator was “honoured” to be able to continue running its casino in Macau.

“Our commitment to Macau has never wavered and we are honoured to continue the partnership we began with the government and people of Macau 20 years ago,” Goldstein said. “In the coming decade and beyond, we will remain steadfast in our strategy of continuous investment in Macau – in its economy, its people and its community. 

“Macau’s future as an international tourism destination remains bright and we look forward to furthering our leadership role in helping it reach its full potential.”

Melco chairman and chief executive Lawrence Ho expressed a similar sentiment.

“We are honoured to have been selected and granted a provisional award for the concession to operate gaming in Macau and would like to thank the Macau government for running a smooth and transparent process,” Ho said. 

“We are committed to Macau and its development as Asia’s premier tourist destination.”

New concession goals

MGM China, meanwhile, spoke of its plans to fulfil the goals of the new concession process: helping to diversify the Macau economy and bringing in more customers from countries other than China.

“We are fully devoted to the Macao SAR,” the operator said. “We will continue to develop the city with our strengths and contribute to the non-gaming industry, meanwhile making vigorous efforts in expanding the tourist markets from foreign countries.”

Wynn Macau pointed to its history in the special administrative region and said it would work to help Macau gaming rebound after Covid-19 -related lockdowns and travel restrictions had a major negative impact on the sector.

“Over the past two decades,” Wynn has worked together with Macau society and all citizens to make positive efforts for the prosperity and stability of Macau, the business said.

“Facing the future, Wynn is full of confidence in the prospects of Macau, and will do its best to support Macau’s integration into the overall development of the country, help the diversified development of industries, expand overseas tourist source markets, enhance Macau’s international reputation, consolidate Macau’s positioning as a world tourism and leisure centre and continue to serve Macau as a whole.”

Macau gaming bill

The new concessions form part of an overhaul to gambling in Macau, following the passage of a gaming bill last year. Earlier versions of the bill had considered changing the number of operators permitted to do business in the market, but the published version kept the number at six.

Besides rules governing the concessions, the new bill also includes a maximum number of gaming tables and machines for each operator – depending on revenue – and limits junkets to one concessionaire each. The bill will also the region’s Chief Executive power to grant tax breaks in order to attract foreign customers.

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