Gaming: Mid-term report focused on need to diversify, regulate junkets

GCS_Gaming_Lionel_Paulo ChanSecretary Lionel Leong (center) and Paulo Chan, Gaming commissioner (right)


The report on the mid-term review of the city’s gaming industry was released today (Wednesday), with a focus on the efforts made by gaming operators to add non-gaming elements to their offer. Employment of local residents and the need to regulate the junket sector are other topics focused on the report.

During a press conference held this afternoon, the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong, mentioned that the report “has nothing to do with the gaming concession renewal.” However, he disclosed some of the guidelines that the gaming operators are expected to follow.

“We very much hope to have more tourist products suitable for the family,” Leong said, adding that “in the past we only looked at gaming revenue,” an approach that is being challenged. “We cannot only depend on a small number of customers [VIP players] to generate most of the revenue. We need to have new clients,” he said.

The Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming of the University of Macau was commissioned to undertake the interim review. It covers nine research topics in four categories, including the contractual and operating conditions of concessionaires and sub-concessionaires; economical, social and livelihood impacts of the development of the gaming industry and current situation of junket promoters.

The research team concluded that the development of the gaming industry has created positive impact on the local economy and society, but also brought a negative impact, such as pushing up the inflation rate, housing prices and business operating costs, creating crowding out effects on SMEs and affecting social values.

The study also shows that the proportion of local employees in gaming operators is much higher than that of overseas employees. Besides, all of the six gaming operators provided opportunities for vertical and horizontal mobility to their employees, in which the proportion of local employees of managerial grade or above increased from around 60 percent in 2008 to 80 percent in 2014.

The UM commissioned report also identifies “problematic areas” regarding junket promoters, stating that there is a need of “stronger regulatory effort in order to enable a healthy and orderly development of the industry.”

It also shows that gaming operators have invested about MOP260 billion (USD33 billion) in 13 years through 2014.

MDT will publish an in depth report on this topic in our print edition tomorrow (Thursday).

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