Macao SAR Government to Issue New Casino Licenses Soon

A list of three winners in the bidding for new licenses of casinos in China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) will come to light on the eve of the traditional Spring Festival, which falls on February 12, a high official said Wednesday.

Consultancy work on all the 18 bidders has been completed in a smooth way, according to Francis Tam Pak Yuen, secretary for economy and finance.

If necessary, the SAR government will extend further check on the companies, he added to the press.

Tam noted that the government will deliberate over the bidding papers and make judgement on the bidders' experience, strength and offer, while treating each bidder on an equal basis.

Out of the 21 companies voicing their bidding for the licenses, three have been kicked out of the competing team due to lack of qualification.

The move will put an end to the 40-year monopoly of the Macao Tourism and Amusement Company (STDM) in the city's gambling sector, as part of a broader effort of local government to further upgrade casino management and promote economic expansion.

The authorities noted that none of the bidders are Chinese- funded companies.

In accordance with the Gaming Industrial Regime passed by the Legislative Assembly in August, casinos should contribute to tourism and economic development and social stability in Macao, with taxation making up 35 percent of their gross revenues.

And casino managers and operators should be qualified and honest and responsible for their doing, the law says.

People's Daily Online ---