Macau to Extend Licenses by Six Months Because of Gambling Reforms

Macau is allegedly planning to extend all gaming licenses by six months. The renewed permits will be valid until the end of 2022, the reports claim.

Macau Might Extend Licenses by Six Months

This news comes from local news outlets in Macau, which say that the region’s regulator is thinking about extending its operators’ licenses. Under normal circumstances, the latter would have otherwise expired on June 26 this year but will now be reportedly extended to December 31.

The first report came from Teledifusão de Macau, a TV channel in the special administrative region. It claimed that Lee Wai Nong, the secretary for economy and finance, is currently mulling whether to proceed with the extension or not.

Regardless of what Wai Nong’s final decision will be, the six operators in the region were advised to have the readiness to apply for license renewal. Meanwhile, the secretary should announce whether the licenses will be extended very soon.

This Will Provide the Government with Much-Needed Time

The extension was described as something that will give the Macau government enough time to change its gambling laws – a process that has was started in January.

The country currently has a total of six operators. When the reforms come to power, this number will remain the same but the length of the licenses will be decreased. Currently, operator licenses allow a company to operate for 20 years and apply for five-year extensions afterward. The new law will cut those numbers in half and operators receive licenses for 10 years with three-year extensions after the initial license expires.

The law will see other things changes as well, such as the number of maximum slot machines a casino can have, etc.

The Move Will Benefit the Industry as Well

The six operators whose offerings are currently available in the special administrative region of Macau are Galaxy Entertainment, Melco Resorts, MGM China, Sands China, SJM Holdings, and Wynn Macau.

Allan Zeman, the chairman of Wynn Macau, spoke about the possibility of the six-month extensions in an interview with the South China Morning Post. He expects that it will be hugely beneficial to the gambling industry in the region since it will allow the six operators ample time to plan ahead. Zeman noted that it is always better to have certainty than uncertainty and praised the Macau government for its smart decision.

Despite gambling being prohibited in China, Macau, being a special administrative region, has been exempt from that rule. The region has a flourishing gambling ecosystem but sometimes experiences hurdles as well – a report from Macau noted that its gambling industry earned 20% less revenue in January than it did in December, marking a slow start of the year.