|Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it raked in more in a single week than Las Vegas makes in a month (File photo by= AFP/Anthony WALLACE)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] HONG KONG: Macau on Friday (Jan 14) unveiled plans to slash the duration of new gaming licences to just 10 years, half the length awarded the last time concessions were granted, as authorities tighten regulation of the world's biggest casino hub, AFP reported. The Chinese territory's multibillion-dollar gaming industry has been on tenterhooks ever since officials announced plans to overhaul the sector last September.
On Friday, the city's six casino giants got their first clear indication of what the new rules would look like as Macau's Executive Council said gaming must not undermine China's "national security". Under a proposed bill, the number of gaming concessions will remain at six but "will not exceed 10 years", authorities said. In exceptional situations, concessions "can be extended by a maximum of three years". The proposal would slash the amount of time casino operators can hold their concessions, which come up for renewal in June.
Additionally, the former Portuguese colony is the only place in China where casino gambling is allowed. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, it raked in more in a single week than Las Vegas makes in a month. The industry has also been hammered by the coronavirus, which put a stop to almost all arrivals from mainland China, who make up the vast majority of Macau gamblers.