The head of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, says she wants the department to be involved in establishing the framework around Macau’s gaming license re-tendering process.
The licenses of all six gaming concessionaires expire on 26 June 2022, with the government recently announcing that a public tender would be launched well before that time.
Asked if the MGTO would play a role in determining the criteria surrounding new licenses during a question and answer session at G2E Asia on Wednesday, Senna Fernandes said, “I hope we will be able to give input into that but whether we will be directly involved is another matter.
“But tourism is such an important part of the entire Macau business mix that I hope my counterparts will at least listen a little bit to the tourism side as to what we think are the important things to come. I have no further details about that.”
Although Senna Fernandes offered little insight into the potential timeline or release of information regarding the renewal process, she said it was likely that the focus of the government’s policy will shift away from economic prosperity.
“I’m not privy to any gaming license renewal information but my personal thinking is when we look back to 2001, a lot of emphasis was placed at that time on how the concessionaires would generate employment, provide new products and help Macau develop,” she said. “Most of the considerations at that time went to the economic side of the business.
“Coming into 2022 there are certain things that need to be continued. We are trying to build Macau as a world center of tourism and leisure so new concessions will need to respond to that requirement.
“How exactly or what the details are I don’t know but I tend to believe that they will definitely have to follow what Macau is trying to turn itself into.”