Macau gaming concessions review before 2020

Business | Carrie Chen 19 Jan 2017

The Macau government said a review of six casino operation concessions in the city will be completed before 2020.

The concessions of MGM China Holdings (2282) and SJM Holdings (0880) are due to expire in 2020, while those of four other gaming operators are ending by 2022.

Macau economy and finance secretary Lionel Leong Vai-tac said the government has already received inputs and suggestions from members of the public relating to the concession renewal applications of gaming operators, but it welcomes more feedback from interested parties. Paulo Martins Chan, director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, said proposals for the lowering of gaming tax will take time to consider.

Billy Song Wai-kit, president of the Macau Gaming Information Association, said any lowering of the gaming tax will prompt the Macau government to take moves, aimed at maintaining its revenue generation. One of these measures is for the government to help casino operators earn more that will enable them to raise the amount of taxes that they are paying, he said.

Leong, however, warned that if Macau relies more on the gaming industry, this will harm the city's future development and its bid to achieve economic diversification.

He added that the level of gaming tax is not the only factor to be considered.

The continuing expansion of non- gaming elements in Macau helps increase the number of job opportunities and attract more family and leisure tourists, he said.

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