In Macau and a prominent legislator has reportedly declared that the city’s six casino operators could soon be fined up to $620,000 for failing to keep local officials up to speed with any ‘major financial decision’.
According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief, the revelation from legislator-cum-restauranteur Andrew Chan Chak Mo (pictured) comes as the former Portuguese enclave is continuing to iron out the provisions in its draft gaming bill, which is being formulated to govern the local casino market for the next decade. The source detailed that this legislation is currently being subjected to behind-closed-door deliberations following a successful first reading in January and could soon be brought before 33-member Legislative Assembly for a final vote.
Macau is home to some of the world’s largest and most prestigious casinos including the iconic Casino Grand Lisboa venue from SJM Holdings Limited as well as Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited’s 1,600-room Studio City Macau development. These facilities managed to rack up aggregated annual gross gaming revenues of about $10.81 billion last year to bring in approximately $4.22 billion in tax for the jurisdiction of slightly over 682,000 people.
Although Chan did not specify what might constitute a ‘major financial decision’, he reportedly did disclose that the proposal recently attached to the draft gaming bill would moreover oblige every one of Macau’s six casino operators to lay out a predicted investment volume at the time of receiving their concession. He purportedly went on to explain that these firms would subsequently be compelled to inform the office of the enclave’s Chief Executive if this forecast was ultimately incorrect.
Chan reportedly divulged that a casino operator in Macau could even be at risk of losing its local license should it fail to promptly comply with this communication proposal. The legislator purportedly furthermore stated that the fine element of this provision may well be increased at a later date depending ‘on the scale of each operator or the different phases of their investment.’
Chan reportedly asserted…
“However, this might not just involve a change in the investment amount, it could just be a change in the investment strategy. Government representatives did not specify this but the most important is the changes involve amounts higher than what is predicted in the concession contract. I believe this fine infraction could be considered a contract breach or even lead to a concession contract to be revoked.”
Asia Gaming Brief reported that Macau’s draft gaming bill, which is officially entitled Amendment to Law Number 16/2001, could also introduce a raft of new anti-corruption and national security provisions alongside a clause that would effectively abolish satellite casinos and sub-concessions. All of these could potentially be joined by an obligation for the six licensees to bring more non-gaming elements to their facilities and hit minimum annual gross gaming revenue targets.