New Regulations will Limit Macau Casinos

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Macau’s authorities have made an unusual move by announcing extensive changes related to casino businesses. Starting in 2023, the number of table games and slot machines that Macau casinos can collectively offer across their floors will be capped. Such restrictions are taking place for the first time since the flourishing of the casino industry in the Chinese gaming province.

The officials decided that the casino operators in the territory would be able to run up to 12,000 slot machines and 6,000 casino tables simultaneously. This is the first instance in which the government has formally imposed restrictions on the precise number of tables and the minimum wage associated with them for operators. The major objective, as Macau’s authorities have stated, is to increase control over operators in the province.

Licensing Changes

According to Macau’s new gambling regulations that will take effect next year, casino operating licenses will only last for 10 years, which is barely half of the current 20-year terms. Another significant adjustment is that Macau will cap the overall number of gaming posts allocated to the sector.

There are currently six licensed operators operating in Macau, including Sands China, Galaxy Entertainment, Wynn Macau, and MG China, but by the end of 2022, all six licenses will expire. The desire to operate in the region under new licenses was stated by all operators who have till mid of September to submit their willing offers. The new licenses will become valid at the beginning of 2023. Macau declared at the end of July that a special committee had been established to evaluate each license applicant.

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Tax Changes

The new restrictions indicate a minimum revenue threshold of MOP 7 million (870,000 USD) per gambling table and MOP 300,000 (37,112 USD) for a single slot gaming machine. The estimated numbers are thought to be reasonably achievable and the authorities have chosen them as a way of providing relief in light of the severe restrictions put in place during the pandemic and the changes in laws during the multiple lockdown periods.

The six operators said that future tax minimum obligations on 2022 revenue are excellent news, according to the government official, given the majority of casino executives believe the business has reached its pandemic low and the business will flourish again.
Recent numbers show that the gross gambling revenue in Macau fell by 38% in 2022, to MOP 55 billion (6.68 billion dollars.) The number represented an 80% decrease from levels observed before the coronavirus pandemic started. Future plans by Macau’s officials aim to lessen the region’s reliance on casino gambling, which accounts for more than 80% of all taxes paid to the local government. Additionally, the new rules offer an excellent opportunity to encourage casino operators to prioritize quality over quantity in their total casino services.

Category:   Gambling industry