Adriano Ho will replace Paulo Martins Chan as Director of Macau’s Gaming of Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) on 10 June, the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, has confirmed.
The Secretary added that progress on amendments to Macau’s gaming law, which is set to form the legislative basis for the retendering of gaming concessions, will not be affected by the change of director.
“The authority of making decisions about the gaming law are in the hands of the Chief Executive and the five Secretaries,” he said. “The DICJ’s job is mostly to execute our decisions and policies.”
Chan will step down on 9 June with Ho to be formally appointed the following day.
Ho is currently a key advisor to the Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, having previously headed the Police Criminal Investigation Department and the Gaming-related and Economic Crimes Investigation Department.
Discussing the appointment with media late Friday, Lei expressed his belief that Ho has enough experience in the field of gaming to perform his new role but denied his appointment was intended to strengthen regulations on gaming operators.
“Regulating the gaming industry is a persistent work for the government, it is not future tense,” he said. “No matter who is the DICJ director, we’ll continue with our regulation as usual to ensure healthy development of the gaming industry.”
The Secretary also emphasized that Chan’s departure is a “normal personnel change”, revealing Chan had offered his resignation last year but had been retained for another six months to aid transition – even though his tenure had been extended by a full 12-months until 1 December 2020.
“If we extended his tenure for six months, it would have left much space for the imagination,” the Secretary explained. “We had very good communication and cooperation during this period, especially for sustaining employees’ rights and monitoring casinos’ preventive measures against COVID-19.”
Chan expressed his gratitude for the trust and support of the government during his tenure with the DICJ in a separate media appearance on Saturday, adding that Ho would be a suitable and competent replacement.