Macau casino and junket operators want clarification of new gambling legislation

File Photo: People visit the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Macau. There, on February 19, 2020, the casino was closed for two weeks due to a new coronavirus outbreak in China.Reuters / Alexander Solm

September 21, 2021

Fara Master

Hong Kong (Reuters) – Senior Macau casino and junket executives met with the world’s largest gambling hub authorities on Monday to ask for details of the proposed regulatory changes, but there was little way to clarify. ..

The 70-minute meeting presented online has highlighted the uncertainty that has been in the industry since the government began reviewing regulations on September 14. Year.

This conference was the only official opportunity for the industry to express its views during the 45-day game consultation. Sands China, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, MGM China, Melco Resorts and SJM Holdings participated.

Macau authorities have identified nine areas of potential change, including having government representatives supervise daily casino operations, number of licenses, better regulation, and employee welfare.

During the meeting, industry executives agreed that Macau’s 20-year gaming law needs to be updated to ensure support for Macau’s development as an international tourism hub. Buddy Lam, senior vice president of public relations at Galaxy, said at a meeting that he needed more information on several areas, including referrals to government representatives and clarification of potential responsibilities and penalties for criminal activity. He said the company is confident that it can “balance between national interests and business demands.” Macau lawyer Rui Cunha, who represented SJM, argued that future licensing periods should take into account investments in the former Portuguese colony.

A junket operator, a middleman who brings a wealthy big whale Chinese gambler to Macau, has sought to clarify the amendments to criminalize the acceptance of cash deposits, which is now a common practice. I spoke loudly.

Kwok Chi Chung, chairman of the city’s Junket Association, said how to legalize junket practices and how businesses can raise money from the public to help the junket industry have a “better image.” I asked if you would like. China’s relentless crackdown on capital flight and illegal remittances has reduced the junket operator portion of Macau’s total game revenue to about one-third of its previous high of about 80%. .. One of the key concerns of concern is casino operators by investors who are concerned that US casino operators such as Sands, Wynn and MGM are facing more risk than their local rivals. This is a proposal to increase the ownership of the local director of the casino.

Permanent residents of Macau currently have 10% voting rights on their operators. Luis Lau, investment director at Brandes Investment Partners, which invests in Macau casinos, said: Sands China has lost 37% value since its announcement last week, while Wynn Macau has fallen 33% and MGM China has fallen 26%.

Authorities plan to hold four more consultations with the general public in October.

(Report by Farah Master, additional report by Sara Cheng, edited by Edwina Gibbs)

Macau casino and junket operators want clarification of new gambling legislation

Source link Macau casino and junket operators want clarification of new gambling legislation

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