Macau Slot Co has gained an extension for its Macau licence for a further three years, until 2024, although the Macau Government has ruled that the licence no longer provides exclusivity in sports betting and instant lottery.
Macau Slot offers sports betting on various games, excluding horseracing. The company was granted the right to accept bets on football games in 1998, later expanding towards basketball as well.
The current licence allows the company to operate other forms of lotteries or mutual betting, as long as it is approved by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Department, reports Asian Gaming Brief. Even pre-pandemic, Macau Slot reported a 30% dip in revenue, with a profit of MOP154.8m ($19.4m) in 2019.
Wang Changbin, director of the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies at Macao Polytechnic Institute, noted the non-exclusive licence could be a “signal that more operators might be allowed into the sports betting market in Macau in the future.”
He explained that while Macau’s sports betting industry might be slowly opening up, further integration would require amendments to the gambling law since currently it “prohibits pari-mutuel gaming taking place in casinos.”
Macau is preparing to launch a public consultation about a revision of the gambling law, which should take place in the second half of the year.
It would coincide with the public tender for the current Macau gaming licences, as the six are due to expire in June 2022. Experts believe that by issuing a non-exclusive licence for Macau Slot, the Government “shows the general line they want to take on general affairs – public interest above all else.”