Macau to provide more concession detail in April

Secretary for economy and finance, Lei Wai Nong

Macau’s incoming Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong has said the government will provide more detail on the re-tender process for the six casino concessionaires in a policy address in April, 2020 and stressed the priority will be on the interests of the local people. 

“First we have to fully review the gaming concessions contracts provided after the opening of the gaming market and then maybe introduce some new things, replace some requirements,” Lei was cited as saying at a press conference.

“It’s a very important work for the new gaming tender. New problems can arise with the new contracts, so we have to define the requirements well. The gaming sector involves many interests, but I want to underline that the interests of the local residents will always have the priority.” 

Lei indicated that protecting local SME’s from the “uncertainties of the international economy,” was paramount. According to local media, Lei said incoming Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng had specifically given him the mandate to focus on smaller companies.

China’s State Council announced the members of the new government late on Sunday in a wide-ranging reshuffle that brought in ten new appointees. They will form Macau’s fifth government since the founding of the Macau Special Administrative Region. 

Fujian-born Lei was a surprise replacement for Lionel Leong Vai Tac as finance secretary. 

Unlike his predecessors, Lei has no private-sector experience. He is a career public servant and is currently vice chairman of the administration committee of the Municipal Affairs Bureau. 

His appointment comes at a time of falling gross gambling revenue and just two years ahead of the expiry of the operators’ concessions in 2022. So far, the government has given no clear indication as to how it will handle the process.

The new government will be sworn in on Dec. 20th during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the SAR.