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Macau gaming new bill

On Monday, stocks of Macau casino operators increased significantly on the Hong Kong market, after the local government's announcement on Friday of a bill establishing a new regulatory structure for gaming, which was welcomed by the sector and investors alike.

All six casino operators' shares increased, with Sands China Ltd gaining the most, 14.6 percent, to HKD21.00 (US$2.70) at the closing.

Wynn Macau Ltd's share price increased by 11.91 percent; MGM China Holdings Ltd's share price increased by 11.70 percent; Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd's share price increased by 7.02 percent; and SJM Holdings Ltd's share price increased by 4.83 percent.

Melco International Development Ltd, the parent company of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, which is publicly traded in the United States, gained by 5.08 percent after the closing of trading on Monday.

Numerous brokerage firms that cover the Macau casino business stated that the new law was a positive development for the industry, since it provided investors with “some relief from the uncertainty around Macau’s future”.

The Executive Council of Macau, an advisory body to the city's Chief Executive, delivered a summary of the new bill during a news conference on Friday. The plan envisions a maximum of six casino concessions with a maximum duration of ten years.

In subsequent remarks, Macau's six casino operators expressed gratitude for the "timely publication" of major provisions of the new gaming bill, noting that the government's summary gave "clear instructions" on some of the planned revisions. Additionally, the operators stated that they intended to participate in a retendering process for licenses that will be conducted under the new framework.

The government previously stated that Macau's gaming law should be amended in conjunction with a new public bidding procedure for Macau gaming licenses. Six of the current concessions are set to expire in June.



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