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MACAU BUSINESS


The million-dollar question on everyone’s mind is regarding the new tender. The future of Macau, post-2022. During your tenure, what were you able to do in regard to the new face of gaming liberalization in Macau? Some people worry that we are already halfway through 2020 and there might not be enough time left to properly handle the new tender. P. M.C. - What I can tell you is that we have different teams working on several issues and that the government does not depend on one or two individuals. I can assure you that the government is and will be prepared to properly handle the tenders. During the last Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced the tenders and, of course, they will happen.


So, in your opinion and given you experience, people should not be worried. All stakeholders can relax about this specific topic. P. M.C. - Yes. I don’t think there will be any problem whatsoever. We had this very unique situation occurring in Macau, when the three initial concessionaires became six (with the additional three sub-concessions) at the end of the day. Does the so-called 3 + 3 system have a future? P. M.C. - I will not give you any opinion about the future, but I can tell you my opinion as a legal operator. As a lawyer, if you will. The gaming law states that there are three gaming


concessions, but the law allows the government to authorize further sub-concessions. The government decided to authorize six (three concessions and three sub-concessions) in total. One can say it’s convenient or inconvenient, but cannot say it’s illegal. It’s in the domain of the government’s discretionary power. This is a concept from Public Administration Law. The law itself provided for this scenario. In my opinion, the three sub-concessions are legal.


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How about third-party operations? The so-called satellite casinos? Will there be a need to clarify those situations? P. M.C. - That situation occurs when the concessionaire


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leases part of its premises for another entity to operate a casino and that possibility is also covered by the current law. There is no question it’s legal. Again, you can discuss the convenience, but not the legality. My opinion is that different concessionaires have


different kinds of markets. Higher end or lower end and some chose this and others didn’t, according to their respective markets.


Nearly years ago, Macau opened up the gaming sector. These years since the liberalization allowed the government and society to better plan for the future. Do you feel that this time was sufficient for us to know what needs to change and that change is indeed coming? P. M.C. - That is the reason why the government did the interim review and it served as a sort of body check-up, to identify any problems and weaknesses, as well as the strong points of the industry. Of course, from a macro-economic perspective, Macau needs to diversify, in order to reduce its dependency on gaming. We should promote other economic sectors.


As we reach the end of this interview, we would like to know, according to your experience of four and a half interesting years, what is the ideal profile for a DICJ director? P. M.C. - It’s hard to say. I think that the most important thing you need is integrity, because there are many interests involved. There is definitely an advantage to being a lawyer or have a law degree, because it involves so many legal aspects. You also need to be a good communicator, in order to understand what is going on in the sector from the people that actually operate there. Also, the usual traits of being hard working and understanding.


Does Adriano Ho fit this profile? P. M.C. - Absolutely. I know him for many years and he is a good police detective and very hard working. I believe he is a suitable person for the job.


22 AUGUST 2020


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