MGM Grand Macau casino resort is closed in Macao, July 11, 2022. (KONG / AP)
The government of the Macao Special Administrative Region said on Saturday that its six incumbent casino operators would be given new licenses to operate in the world's biggest gambling hub from January, with Malaysian operator Genting missing out on a spot.
The highly anticipated announcement signals stability and continuity for the Macao operators who have invested more than $50 billion in the city in the past 20 years.
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We are committed to Macao and its development as Asia's premier tourist destination.
Lawrence Ho, Chairman and Chief Executive, Melco
Officials in Macao, the world's biggest casino hub, said at a news briefing the main considerations for granting licenses included ensuring local employment, developing overseas tourist markets and developing non-gaming projects.
Genting Malaysia did not immediately respond for an email request for comment.
If any incumbents had lost, they would have had to return the casino area to the government for free at the end of this year, making it financially unviable to operate the remaining facilities as gambling accounts for 80 percent to 90 percent of total revenue.
Sands China, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, MGM China, Melco Resorts, and SJM Holdings have operated in the SAR since 2002. Their concessions expire at the end of this year.
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"We are committed to Macao and its development as Asia's premier tourist destination," Lawrence Ho, chairman and chief executive of Melco, said in a statement.