The Chief Executive of Macau, Ho Iat Seng, said Wednesday that no discussion on the re-tendering of gaming licenses would take place while the government was focused on facilitating and stabilizing Macau’s economy recovery.
Ho is in Beijing this week where he will meet with multiple ministries to discuss a range of topics including Macau’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing cooperation between Macau and neighboring Hengqin.
Speaking with media at Macau International Airport before his departure, the Chief Executive was asked whether he would discuss Macau’s gaming licenses during the trip, and specifically whether the SAR would extend the existing licenses for Macau’s six concessionaires beyond their 2022 expiration date or proceed with a re-tendering process. Ho emphasized that he would not talk discuss gaming with the central government on this trip.
“I will not answer these hypothesized questions,” He said. “The SAR government already has regulations to discuss and research about gaming licenses in accordance with the current concessions. This time we will not talk about this.”
Macau and mainland China jointly announced resumption of the Individual Scheme Visit (IVS) in phases earlier this week, with Zhuhai residents able to apply from Wednesday 12 August, the remainder of Guangdong from 26 August and all of mainland China from 23 September.
Ho said it was difficult to anticipate how many visitors would return to Macau following the resumption of IVS but assured reporters the government would keep a close eye on developments.
He also said the government had no plans to roll out any more support measures and would use public funds cautiously due to his expectation that IVS would provide Macau with the boost it needs for the remainder of 2020.