Users of Macau’s casinos fear the ultimate end to the new rules of the game

Bill Hornbuckle, chief of casino group MGM Resorts, was confident last week that China’s anti-gaming law, education and online games would not reach Macau, the world’s largest gambling center.

“We’ve received zero zero that there are concerns about rates,” he told a financial event in Las Vegas. Although the 20-year-old casino license should expire next year, he encouraged, boldly predicting an increase in MGMs. “We hope [our licence] is added: time to say. ”

But a day later, Chinese officials revealed the most shocking news since the epidemic began: a desire to increase oversight that could seize lucrative trade away from its shared foreign partners.

Story he spent $ 20bn on the price among the gamblers, who include Sands China, MGM China and Wynn Macau. The list follows the worst day ever.

Corporate executives and auditors were not happy with the amount of restrictions, which could force them to radically change their business practices, including the choice of government officials to comply with government regulations from within. Renewal of a game license has not been confirmed.

Xi Jinping, President of China, has launched a major campaign in recent months economic transformation and emphasizes “common development”, including the sharing of wealth, the fight against evil and the good rights of workers and consumers.

“[The law is] part of the anti-gambling policy and Macau is part of China, ”said Pedro Cortés, who works for a law firm in Macau Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés, which is based on the game law. “It will be a new season.”

Macau has paid generous taxes on its gambling, which resulted in MOP292.4bn ($ 36.6bn) in game revenue in 2019 compared to $ 6.6bn on Las Vegas Strip casinos, according to industry figures.

But the Chinese government has long been frustrated by its shareholders in the US who are profiting from the region, believing that economic prosperity should remain in the country.

“There are so many ideas [that US-listed casinos] don’t leave enough money here, ”said a Macau government official. “China wanted Macau to find a way to keep money out of Macau.”

Casino officials met with Macau government officials on Monday, their only meeting scheduled for a 45-day legal inquiry.

The event was unexpectedly convened so that the descendants of the late casino Stanley Ho, including his daughters Pansy and Daisy themselves has taken his place, and his son Lawrence, chief of Melco Resorts in Macau, were unable to return to China immediately.

Las Vegas Sands registered in the US, which was established by the late Sheldon Adelson, MGM and Wynn operate nine retail outlets in Macau, and their local corporations are listed in Hong Kong. Users of Galaxy Entertainment, Stanley Ho SJM Holdings and Melco, listed in the US and Hong Kong, are also licensed.

All six sports teams have returned safely to Macau, leading the Xi anti-corruption campaign in 2012 and corona infection. The company’s stocks have started to rise this year with 79% falling to $ 7.53bn in 2020.

Annual income chart ($ bn) showing Macau's gambling more than Las Vegas

Explaining the importance of the role to the sports industry, Las Vegas Sands sold its goods in Nevada in March, reliance on Macau and Singapore growth. “Asia was the backbone of the company,” said Rob Goldstein, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands at the time.

Sands China, MGM China and Wynn Macau did not respond to a request for comment.

Applying for a trial law that will solicit public opinion on how many gambling licenses, known as “permissive” or “minor approvals”, need to be reconsidered. It also suggested that the government determine whether workers would pay the dividends.

The chief executive of a casino in Macau told the Financial Times that Beijing believes that the listed casinos in the US are “returning” their profits to their parent companies. He added that the government does not completely ban future benefits, but “if you go too far. . . it’s another matter ”.

“Most of us thought it was stronger than they expected, especially the segments,” said a senior official at the Macau casino. “It’s all Chinese money playing in Macau. Thus, much was returned to its shareholders in the US. Knowing China, he wants to make more money in Macau. ”

The chief added that if the law was not enforced as required, US casinos would need to change the way they were operated. “An American company may be a shareholder, but [they will become] Many Chinese companies, ”he said.

Many Macau casino users work with their common counterparts; For example, MGM Resorts has a partnership with Pansy Ho. This year, Snow Lake Capital, a Chinese investment firm, encouraged MGM to sell 20% of its operations in China to a local “talented investor,” an idea that an internal company describes as an indication of the pressure on foreign sports companies to make their transactions.

The law should also force casinos to increase the amount of money that residents of Macau live. This is in line with what governments are looking to increase economic benefits for their large corporations, such as through employment.

Under local law, all Macau by-elections already have a 10% stake, but this could be a non-voting party, which means they can only live in the name itself.

Another important part of Macau’s gaming industry that has been closely monitored is the so-called VIP “junkets”, a small component that attracts and honors major rollers and has been a long-standing problem in Beijing.

The new law “will end VIP games and restrict economic activity”, a former Macau official said. When the casino operators went on strike on Monday, junitors’ representatives strongly opposed the policy, which could lead to a more cohesive operation.

However, most casino users have a new supply of pipeline. Sands’ Londoner casino is a safe haven, $ 2bn renovating its space in Cotai Central with a similar look to the Westminster Palace and a huge statue of Big Ben, is looking to open.

Recently, Macau pressured casinos to pursue non-gambling.

Melco invested in a playground in Zhongshan, a city on the border of Guangdong province, while the Galaxy has a plot in Hengqin.

Alidad Tash, a former casino manager at 2nt8 Limited, said the law could represent the right of self-sufficiency to Macau casino shoots from US parents in the future.

“It seems [the Chinese government is] not comfortable that three of the Big Six are Americans. They must be mostly Chinese. ”

The staff is “crazy don’t worry”, he added.

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