Macau, the biggest gambling hub in the world and home to some of the most prestigious casinos in the world is set to launch a gaming concession tender process in 2022.
This is the time when the Macau government and gaming regulator will look to renew and grant new licenses to gaming operators.
There are currently six major gaming operators in Macau. A couple of years ago, it was a given that all six operators would be given a license renewal.
In 2018, there were talks that Macau might consider bringing in new gaming operators in order to expand the gaming market and make it a little more competitive.
The escalating trade war between the United States and China has impacted a number of industries and some gaming analysts questioned whether it would hurt U.S gaming operators during the concession tender process. Top U.S. casino operators such as MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp all have Chinese subsidiaries operating in Macau which is a major market for them.
U.S. Casino operators have invested billions of dollars into Macau’s casino industry and operate some of the most popular casinos in the peninsula such as the Venetian Macao, The Parisian, Wynn Palace and MGM Cotai.
Fitch Ratings dispelled such fears and claimed that based on their recent discussions with key stakeholders in the industry, U.S. casino operators will be given the same treatment as Asian casino operators. Fitch also confirmed that there was a strong possibility that a new casino operator could be granted a license in 2022.
Too Much Foreign Investment At Stake
Fitch Ratings sent a gaming team to Macau last month and they met with most of the major casino operators and 5 government agencies to discuss the concession tender process and what impact the trade tensions between the U.S. and China would have on American operators.
The feedback they received so far confirms that there is too much at stake for Macau to take it out on American casino operators given the fact that they have poured in huge amounts of foreign investment, built multi-billion dollar casino resorts and employ thousands of locals.
If they were treated unfairly during the concession tender process or had their licenses revoked, it could create a negative impact in Macau’s gaming market which would hurt the economy.