Any revisions made to the gaming law ahead of license re-tendering should aim to position Macau as Asia’s “entertainment city” and clearly define its role in the region, according to the University of Macau’s Professor Glenn McCartney.
McCartney made the comments during a presentation to guests of the French Macau Chamber of Commerce this week, titled, “Macau’s Casino Concessions: Gambling on Uncertainty?” The presentation analyzed key factors shaping changes to the gaming law while highlighting how the future of Macau will heavily depend upon the final result.
According to Prof. McCartney, this future will be strongly linked to China’s Greater Bay Area core strategy.
“The development of the Greater Bay Area is a priority,” he said. “Hengqin Island, Macau, Hong Kong and how we all develop into the Greater Bay Area, that has been put as a priority. I think what we want to be is an attractive Greater Bay Area where every city is distinctive for a certain feature.
“For Macau that’s as an entertainment city, the Cotai Strip. That’s a fair positioning.”
Prof. McCartney also noted a series of threats to Macau’s central tourism industry, including intense competition from regional peers, the unpredictability of public health crises such as COVID-19 and consumption trends. These threats, he said, must be adequately pondered in shaping Macau’s gaming law.
“The laws have to be articulated taking into consideration externalities,” Prof’ McCartney said. That’s for the legal scholars to come up with but you cannot ignore the downturn COVID-19 has created. The issues of competitive environment, the evolving China consumer as well as our visitor market, how do we develop an international destination where regional markets will come to Macau?”