Skip to content

Macau limits new casino licenses to 6, to last up to 10 years

Content of the article

HONG KONG – The Macau government said on Friday that the number of new casino operators licensed to operate in the world’s largest gaming center will be limited to six dealers with an operating period of up to 10 years.

The announcement, eagerly awaited by casino executives, investors and analysts, puts an end to fears that the government will change the current status quo in the number of operators in the territory controlled by China.

The licenses of six Macau operators, Wynn Macau, Sands China, MGM China, SJM Holdings, Galaxy Entertainment and Melco Resorts, are all due to expire in June this year.

Content of the article

The government said all existing or potential operators must apply through a new bidding process. It did not say when operators will have to bid or whether the term of the current license will be extended, according to a notice posted on its website.

Casino operators must increase capital amount to 5 billion patacas ($ 623.67 million) from 200 million patacas previously, and increase the requirement for a Macau-based company director to own 15% against 10% currently.

The former Portuguese colony is the biggest gambling hub in the world in terms of money wagered.

($ 1 = Patacas 8.0170) (Reporting by Farah Master and Twinnie Siu; editing by Jason Neely and Kim Coghill)