Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On has poured cold water on the prospects of the government extending the gaming concessions of Macau’s six licensed gaming operators beyond their 2022 expiry, stating it was already advanced enough to launch a public tender before that time.
His comments, as reported by Macau News Agency, follow the recent extension of the gaming concessions of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, S.A. (SJM) and MGM Grand Paradise, S.A (MGM), originally due to expire in 2020, until 26 June 2022, bringing them in line with the other four operators.
It was subsequently speculated at the time that all six would likely be granted further concession extensions beyond 2022 to give the incoming government more time to formulate its policies for a public tender.
But Chui rejected those claims when pressed by Legislator Leong Sun Iok during a Legislative Assembly session on Thursday, stating the government already has “enough conditions” and plenty of time to launch a public tender well before 2022.
Providing the first real insight into the government’s plans for a tender, the Chief Executive pointed to the development of both gaming and non-gaming facilities, continuing to prioritize local gaming workers over foreigners and pursuing Macau’s goal to become a World Center for Tourism and Leisure.
Chui’s second five-year term as Chief Executive will come to an end on 19 December, meaning he will by law make way for a new leader of the SAR.
Among those in contention to take his place is current President of the Legislative Assembly Ho Iat Seng, who announced on Thursday his intention to run for Chief Eexecutive.