In Macau, Economy and Finance Secretary, Lionel Leong Vai Tac (pictured), has reportedly announced that the local government in ‘inclined’ towards launching a new tendering process for the city’s six existing casino concessions.

Pair passed:

According to a report from GGRAsia, the former Portuguese enclave recently extended by a further two years the casino licenses held by operators MGM China Holdings Limited and SJM Holdings Limited. This move means that all of the city’s half-dozen gambling operators, which also include the local Sands China Limited and Wynn Macau Limited subordinates of Las Vegas Sands Corporation and Wynn Resorts Limited respectively, are now due to see their licenses expire on June 26, 2022.

Scarce detail:

Leong made his revelation at an official event held earlier today but refused to give any details on the envisioned tender including its time frame or clarify rumors that the government could be considering the possibility of increasing the number of overall concessions beyond its current ceiling of six.

Leong reportedly stated…

“When the gaming concessions expire, the Macau government is inclined to launch a public tender.”

Preferential treatment:

Today’s event was also attended by a range of other local officials including, Paulo Martins Chan, from the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau and saw Leong detail that his office is currently working on legislation that would initiate the fresh tender. However, he purportedly refused to be drawn on a time scale for this process or on whether the current crop of concessionaires, which moreover embrace Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited and Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, are to be given any sort of advantage.

Leong continued…

“As I’ve said before, we’ll consider factors of Macau’s economic stability, financial security and also of [China’s] national security. On this issue we will listen to opinions from society for our overall consideration.”

Five-year extensions:

GGRAsia cited a Friday note from the Hong Kong-based branch of global brokerage firm Sanford C Bernstein and Company as explaining that Macau currently possesses the ability to extend every one of the six concessions by up to a further five years to late-June of 2027.

Sanford C Bernstein and Company’s filing read…

“However, there is no indication, at the present time, that the government may do so. A likely scenario is that there will not be any new concession-related announcements until after 2020.”