In the apparent third version of the proposed Macau gaming legislation, cross-shareholdings between concessionaires and their 5 percent owners are prohibited, although indirect cross-shareholdings are permitted.
The most recent version of Macau's new Gaming Law says that concessionaires or any of their shareholders holding 5 percent or more may not directly own the capital of other concessionaires, although they may indirectly hold up to 5 percent of the capital of other concessionaires.
Today (Monday, 13 June), the Second Standing Committee of the Macau Legislative Assembly (AL) met to discuss the new Gaming Law. Following the meeting, Committee Chairman Andrew Chan Chak Mo noted that the most recent document handed to the committee by the government contained altered content compared to the document provided by the government at their previous meeting.
In the earlier version of the law, it was specified that concessionaires and their shareholders owning 5 percent or more of the respective capital stock might possess less than 5 percent of the capital of other concessionaires, either directly or indirectly.
Chan stated that the new wording change is identical to the previous statute, with one significant difference. It states that “concessionaires, as well as their shareholders holding 5% or more of their respective capital stock, may not directly hold [shares in another concessionaire] in their own name, but can indirectly hold shares of the concessionaire, for example, in the form of a fund, but not more than 5%.”
Chan said the government “made the change in the hope of preventing collusion among the concessionaires to enhance their competitiveness.”
He also explained that a final meeting of the committee will be held this Wednesday 15 June and an “opinion letter” – a document signed by the Second Standing Committee to be submitted to the full AL – will be signed on that day.
“After signing the opinion letter, the Legislative Assembly will come together five working days later to discuss and vote on this law,” he said.
Chan anticipates that the Legislative Assembly will examine and enact the revised Gaming Law by June 26.
By fLEXI tEAM