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By Tony Lai


Mystery


Mystery T


20 JULY 2020


The multi-billion-dollar questions regarding the future of the Macau gaming industry beyond June 2022 remain unresolved, with the current six operators far from securing the status quo.


lingers


he much-anticipated maiden Policy Address by Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng was finally delivered recently, however, marked by the unprecedented outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that has brought the global economic activities


into a standstill. Covering multiple areas, including the measures to rejuvenate the lacklustre economy, the restructure of numerous government departments, and the


closer integration with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, the new Chief Executive even took time in the Policy Address for 2020 to reflect Macau’s efforts in facilitating that economic diversifications from gaming were still far from substantial, a change from the stance of the previous administration that the city’s endeavour ‘has started to yield outcomes.’ A significant part is still absent in Mr. Ho’s first Policy


Address – the details of the local gaming development beyond June 2022, when the six gaming concessions and sub-concessions expire. From the revisions, to the gaming regulations, to the timeline for opening the re-tendering process, to the number of available licenses, these are all still up in the air, awaiting for “a political decision,” say analysts and observers, who alert it should not be taken for granted that all current six operators could retain their licenses. “As the gaming concessions [and sub-concessions] will


expire by 2022, [the government] will continue to heed the public calls, earnestly review, and conclude the past experiences for the relevant preparatory work [for the retendering process],” the Policy Address states. “[The government] will improve the [gaming] legal framework and supervision mechanism, as well as continue to carry out the retendering work of the gaming licenses.” As the official document lacks any further details concerning the process, Mr. Ho only noted, after being


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