Macau delays public consultation of new gaming laws 

by Charlotte Lee Last Updated
Macau casinos set for bumper May thanks to Golden Week

Proposed gaming laws amendments in Macau are set to be put forward to the public after legislative elections in September, Gambling Insider reports.

The director of Macau Games and Entertainment Mediators Association Lam Kai Kuong said while the public consultation will not start before the election, in order to avoid extraneous problems.

“Candidates must canvas local opinions about different topics in their political platforms and it is not wise to make re-tendering one of the focus topics,” he said.

A round of public consultation on the region’s gaming law was announced by Macau chief executive Ho Iat Seng in 2020.

These talks would precede a re-tendering process for the six existing gambling licences, all of which are set to expire in June 2022.

It is believed that the disruption caused by the pandemic is behind the mooted postponement.

Dr Zeng Zhonglu, professor at the centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies at Macao Polytechnic Institute said he agreed with the likely delay.

“I think it’s very likely to start the public consultation of Macau’s gaming law after the September election,” he said.

“I believe the government has already prepared it, but it does not want to launch it too early.”

Gaming taxes in Macau fall sharply in January 

Gaming taxes from concessionaires in Macau has dropped 63.6 per cent year-on-year.

Asgam reported in January that the Macau government took in US$402 million in gaming taxes, despite the huge decrease in revenue.

The January figure, published by the Financial Services Bureau, represents just 6.2 per cent of the government’s 2021 budget for revenue from gaming, reflecting the subdued gross gaming revenue from operators due to an increase of COVID-19 cases in mainland China at the start of 2021.

Macau’s casinos recorded gross gaming revenue of US$1 billion in January, down 63.7 per cent compared with January 2020.

The Financial Services Bureau revealed total revenues taken in through January came to US$543 million, meaning revenues from concessionaires, including a small amount of revenue from public utility services, comprised 74.3 per cent of all government revenues in January.

Macau loses two Michelin star restaurants in 2021

The Macau casino sector has seen a decline in the number of Michelin-starred restaurants at its casino resorts.

GGR Asia reported in January that in the latest edition of the Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau revealed 18 restaurants in Macau boasting a Michelin star, down from 20 in the previous year.

All the still-listed eateries are located inside a casino hotel or resort.

Macau had again three restaurants awarded three stars.

It is Michelin’s top accolade for food that it considers “exceptional cuisine”.

Two of the outlets, French favourite Robuchon au Dome, and a Chinese fine dining outlet The Eight, are at Grand Lisboa casino hotel, owned by gaming operator SJM Holdings.

Jade Dragon, a Cantonese-cuisine restaurant at City of Dreams Macau, a casino resort run by Melco Resorts and Entertainment also kept its three-star rating.

Missing from the 2021 list of two-starred venues is The Tasting Room, a French contemporary restaurant at City of Dreams Macau.

In May, Melco Resorts closed that eatery linked to the Revamp of Nuwa, a hotel at the City of Dreams complex.

Macau establishments retaining two Michelin stars for 2021 included: Alain Ducasse at Morpheus, described as a French contemporary eatery and based at the Morpheus hotel tower, also at City of Dreams; and Feng Wei Ju, a Sichuan-style Chinese restaurant at Galaxy Entertainment Group’s StarWorld Macau.

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