In just three years, the first of the licenses awarded to Macau’s concessionaires expire and, despite the billions of dollars invested by the operators in the market, there is still no clarity over the renewal process.
There is no mechanism under the current law for automatic renewal which, as the deadline approaches, is leading to increasing concern in the market as to the tack the government may take. Views on the ground are mixed.
“A myth has been put forward that implies that the renewals will be an automatic process and that the advantage will go to the incumbents… that is not the case,” argues international gaming consultant Ben Lee, managing director of iGamix.
“The government has come out very clearly and said it is not a renewal,” said Lee, adding that a seventh concessionaire is not out of the question either.
DICJ director Paulo Martins Chan, when asked about gaming concessions on...
Consolidation of the bases and advancement in adversity was the thrust of Macau Chief Executive’s policy address for 2021, though it gave little away when it came to the current pillar of the economy - the gaming industry.
Gaming suppliers, like all areas of the industry, have felt the pinch from the Covid-19 crisis, though their growing digital businesses have proved a bright spot and helped offset the impact of the crisis.
While nowhere in the world has escaped the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, Macau has been hit harder than most, with forecasts for gross domestic product to shrink more than 50 percent this year.