The Government of Macau unveiled the rules for the re-tendering of the gambling licenses in the special administrative region (SAR). As revealed by the local authorities, there will be a number of criteria by which they will make a decision whether to license a certain gambling operator or not.
On July 5th, the rules for the re-tendering of the gambling licenses in the region were officially announced by the SAR Government. They are included in Administrative Regulation 28/2022, which follows the amended gambling legislation of Macau and is expected to set the rules for issuing new operating permits to foreign gambling operators.
As mentioned above, there will be several criteria by which the licensees are set to be determined.
In order to get an operating permit, companies will see their casino management plan carefully evaluated. In addition, the competent authorities in the SAR will prioritize companies that are able to tackle casino fraud and illegal activities. The Macau Government will be looking for operators that can successfully identify and prevent various illegal operations, such as money laundering and penetration of organized crime.
One of the main priorities of the local authorities is to license operators that could be found attractive to foreign customers. Earlier in 2022, the Macau Government unveiled some plans to implement tax breaks for operators that successfully attract overseas visitors to the region. Furthermore, the Government revealed some plans to prioritize operators that are interested in investing in both gambling and non-gaming-related projects in the region. The local authorities also shared that they would prefer operators that already have experience in offering gambling services and operating games of chance.
Macau Still Recovering from Covid-19 Losses and Zero-Covid Policy of the Chinese Government
Some of the priorities set by the Macau Government while considering and issuing the gambling licenses make a lot of sense, especially considering the current state of the local gambling industry.
To date, the SAR is still finding it difficult to deal with the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the strict zero-coronavirus policy of China’s Central Government. Because of this, it is easily understandable why the local authorities are willing to license operators that would be able to bring in foreign visitors and bring a new life to the Macau economy.
Furthermore, the special administrative region recently took stricter measures against so-called junket operators, such as the notorious Suncity Group, which was already found guilty of having links to criminal activity and fraud. According to a recent report, the boss of the company, Alvin Chau, may have avoided the rules of the gambling industry, sparing tax revenue of as much as $1 billion.
Now, the special administrative region of Macau is seeking to issue licenses to companies that are compliant with the legislative and regulatory rules of the sector and the due diligence of preventing fraud. The local Government has been hopeful that the new laws for the gambling sector will help the industry recover, although this may take some time.