Macau Draft Gaming Law amended to address satellite casino concerns

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Macau’s draft gaming law has been amended to help satellite casinos, which will now be able to operate for longer than the original three-year transition period, but without revenue sharing.

On January 18th this year, the Macau government published the draft amendments to its Gaming Law, initiating the current discussion on the fate of the satellite casinos.

Satellite casinos can be described as arrangements between a concession holder and a third party owner, under which the hotel owner requests the use of a concessionaire’s license to run gaming operations in a designated area of the hotel or property. There are around 18 satellite casinos in Macau out of a total of 40 casinos.

The original version of the draft law stated that all satellite casinos must be operating out of property owned by one of the six concessionaires. They were given a three-year timetable to comply.

Some satellite casinos operating outside concessionaire properties have already announced plans to shut down since the draft gaming law was published.

The amended law was presented to the commission evaluating the legislation on last Friday, local media reports, citing commission head, legislator Chan Chak Mo.

The new version according to a report on AgBrief states that even if the property where the casino is based is not owned by the concessionaire, it can continue operating as a managing entity if a contract is established with the operator.

They will only be able to charge management expenses and not share a percentage of gaming revenue.