Deadline Set for Reshuffle of Bidders for New Casino Licenses in Macao

Bidders for three new casino licenses in the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) will have another week of time to think about if they want to reshuffle among themselves to sharpen the competitive edge.

The government will not accept any reshuffle applications after January 31, the deadline, according to Francis Tam Pak Yuen, secretary for economy and finance.

Sources said that out of the 18 bidders, some are suggesting to join hands against stronger rivals.

Tam, who also leads the Tender Committee for Gaming Concession, told the press Thursday that his committee will make no comment for the possible reshuffle and treat each bidding paper on an equal basis as "this is a mere commercial action."

The united bidders will have to hand out new bidding papers stating their qualifications. However, the tender committee has so far received no official regrouping applications from the bidders.

Macao will soon open the gambling market as part of a broader effort to upgrade casino management and spur economy, putting an end to the 40-year monopoly of the Macao Tourism and Amusement Company (STDM) in the city's gambling sector. The Chinese-funded companies, however, are forbidden to compete for the new licenses.

Tam said that the move will also create new market environment and tourist facilities so as to draw more visitors from different regions and different communities.

People's Daily Online ---