Casino events

Law will allow Macau to change casino GGR requirements

Macau Gambling Laws have been the main topic of discussion during the recent period and now it has been revealed that the government of this special administrative region will have the power to change the minimum required GGR that dealers must meet depending on the economic conditions.

Macau Gambling Law Undergoes Several Amendments

Along with the changes to the GGR, Macau is also considering giving tax breaks to dealers, but only if they manage to attract foreign customers. Dealers in the region are struggling to attract offshore players, mainly because of travel restrictions imposed by mainland China.

In the original text of the Gaming Act, it was stated that licensees would have a minimum amount of GGR that they had to achieve each year. However, Chan Chak Mothe chairman of the Legislative Assembly’s second standing committee, said Monday that the new text would include the words “annually or at a specified time” rather than “annually.”

Additionally, the Macau government will set a minimum income requirement per slot machine and per table game. The new text specifies that the minimum income requirement can be modified by the government, depending on the economic conditions of the region.

As Chan explained, the reason the government needs to have the power to change the income requirement is if “unforeseen events” occur. One such event is the COVID-19 outbreak, which has had a massive impact on the global gaming industry.

Section 5(C) states that:

The maximum total number of gaming tables and slot machines to be operated would be announced by the General Manager.

This will be replaced by:

The total maximum number of Gaming Tables and Slot Machines that may be operated by each Dealer will be announced by the General Manager.

With this amendment, the GM will announce the number of slot machines and gaming tables for each dealer, not just the total number for all dealers. Finally, it was noted that failure to comply with these regulations could result in a fine of between MOP$2 million ($247,000) and MOP$5 million ($618,000).

Achieving the minimum required GGR can be a problem, if the situation continues

Macau dealers may struggle to meet the minimum GGR requirement if it is too high, especially if restrictions are not relaxed.

In March, the special administrative region’s total GGR was MOP$3.67 billion ($454 million), which was the lowest in 18 months. Its year-on-year decline was 55.8% and the GGR in February was 53.7% higher.

COVID-19 has been cited as the main reason Macau’s GGR has had such a negative impact. The epidemic has ravaged mainland China, including Shenzhen and Zhuhai. Shenzhen’s situation was so bad that the area had to be shut down for an entire week. To make matters worse, the April GGR was even lower as it hit MOP$2.68 billion ($335 million).