Macau's Chief Executive Chui Sai On said today he does not want to extend gambling concessions in the territory and promised a public tender in 2022.
In mid-March, the Macau government extended until 2022 the term of the concession contracts of the Macau Gambling Society (SJM), founded by tycoon Stanley Ho, as well as the sub-concession granted to MGM, thus matching the deadline for the agreements involving two other concessionaires and sub-concessionaires.
At the plenary meeting of the Legislative Assembly, Fernando Chui Sai On said "there will be no further extensions," although the law provides for the possibility of extending the concessions up to five times for a period of two years.
Unlike the other operators - Wynn Resorts and Galaxy, whose license expires in 2022 -, the gambling concession contracts granted to SJM (which operates 22 casinos in Macau) and the sub-concession granted to MGM (two casinos) were supposed to expire on March 31, 2020.
It is now time to "create the conditions for a public tender" and to add and tighten the requirements concerning "the right to work and employment," Macau's Chief Executive said during the previous plenary meeting, as his term expires this year.
Between March and June of 2002, Macau's government signed three concession contracts with SJM, Galaxy Casino and Wynn Resorts.
Later on, in December 2002, an amendment was made to Galaxy Casino's concession contract, in which Venetian Macau was allowed to operate a gambling sub-concession. SJM and Wynn would also enter into sub-concession agreements with MGM and Melco Resorts, respectively.
Venetian Macau is owned by Sands China, which in turn is a subsidiary of US company Las Vegas Sands. Wynn and MGM are also majorly owned by US corporate groups.
Last year, Macau - the world's gambling capital and the only place in China where casinos are legal - reported about €33 billion in gambling revenues, 14% more than in 2017.
Usually, the Chief Executive of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) visits the Legislative Assembly three times a year.
The first one takes place in November, to present the following year's Governance Action Guidelines and to answer questions from the MPs on the policies announced the day before.
The second visit is held between March and April, and the third one takes place between July and August, before the MPs' holiday period.