Featured in this article:
  • Macau's casino licence re-tendering process is underway
  • Six big casinos will likely get a new 10-year licence
  • Concerns as Grand Lisboa closes in fresh Covid-19 wave

3 Minute Read

The latest Macau Casino News reveals its six casinos can apply for licences. but Covid is affecting the economy

Regulators in the gambling haven of Macau have published their re-tendering rules for casino licences – just 14 days after reforming its gambling laws.

Macau makes $37bn annually from gambling and benefits particularly from a ban on the activity in the rest of China.

The territory’s lawmakers recently tweaked legislation around how casinos – such as Wynn Macau, Sands China – apply for new licences now their original 20-year arrangements have lapsed.

Among the reforms is a cut from 20-year agreements to 10, implementing a $5.81m licence renewal fee, fixing a casino tax at 40% and providing incentives for attracting foreign gamblers.

And in less than two weeks Macau has now published its rules for the re-tendering process – a major step towards securing licences for its six acre casinos before the January 1, 2023 deadline.

What Macau Re-Tendering Process Involves

According to JP Morgan, Macau’s re-tendering process will give applicants the opportunity to apply for a new licence “within days”.

The regulation is named Administrative Regulation No. 28/2022 – Amendment of Administrative Regulation No. 26/2001 “Regulating the open bidding and granting contracts for casino games of fortune operations, and the appropriateness of bidding companies and approving companies, eligibility and financial requirements.”

Applicants will have three months to detail their bid for a licence. In the application they must:

  • Detail the amount of the variable part of the proposed premium
  • Explain their plans to attract players from foreign countries
  • Prove their experience in operating games of chance in a casino or related areas
  • Show the benefits availed from investments in gaming and non-gaming related projects
  • Outline a casino management plan
  • Detail steps for supervision and prevention of illicit and illegal activities in their casinos

The big six casino operators in Macau – Wynn Macau, Sands China, MGM China, Galaxy Entertainment, Melco Resorts and SJM Holdings – are all expected to have their licence applications approved.

The territory is currently not in an economic situation where it can afford to lose any of its major casinos. And the persistent presence of Covid-19 is making their economic challenges all the harder.

Macau Casino News Grand Lisboa

Macau’s Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino has temporarily closed due to a Covid-19 outbreak

Macau Grand Lisboa Hotel And Casino Closes

Indeed, a Covid-19 outbreak at The Grand Lisboa hotel and casino in Macau has forced the resort to temporarily close. Thirteen Covid cases were confirmed at the hotel, making it the 18th Covid-19 cluster in the island territory.

Macau is enduring a fresh wave of coronavirus and the latest outbreak has resulted in a casino closing for the first time since 2020. That year was effectively a write-off for the industry and Macau suffered from the lack of revenues.

The number of fresh Covid cases passed 1,000 in the hours after the Grand Lisboa closed, with 59 cases coming from key groups who work in the casino industry, such as cleaners, management and security staff.

The closure is a set-back to Macau’s ambitions of opening its doors to the world, following pressure from China to stop its reliance on ‘junkets’ from the mainland that largely fund the casino industry.

Macau is aiming to become the Las Vegas of Asia in more than just gambling. Hotel resorts offering extensive family entertainment options are considered key if the territory is to expand its economy away from the roulette and blackjack tables.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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