The 2021-2025 economic and social development plan emphasizes the diversification and expansion of mass gaming

* By Thérèse Tu and Nelson Moura

The government of the Macao SAR has released the second five-year economic and social development plan for the period 2021-2025, which proposes measures to accelerate the diversification of the economy and cooperation with other regions, due to the severe impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on Macau’s one-size-fits-all economy.

The plan is however rare in terms of references to the future of one of the main pillars of the local economy, the gaming industry, specifying in one of the few mentions that the authorities intend to “continually increase the share occupied through the mass market. of gaming revenues, and rigorously assess requests for an increase in gaming tables ”

In 2019, VIPs accounted for just 39% of the city’s total gross gaming revenue of MOP 295 billion, with premium mass accounting for 30%, base mass tables 25% and 6% for slots. / ETG.

The percentage represented by the VIP sector has since fallen to 35% in 2020 and is expected to decline further to 23 in 2021.

The increase in the number of live dealer tables was also limited to a compound annual expansion of 3% under a previous government policy that was to last until the end of 2022. As of the end of September, there were 6 302 dealer tables in SAR casinos.

The government is also proposing to increase income from the mass market, improve industry laws and regulations, strengthen oversight, and strictly review new applications for game counters.

Game dealers will also be urged to “fulfill their social responsibilities in education, social livelihoods and environmental protection”, encouraging them to strengthen their links with local SMEs and ” contribute to society ”.

The authorities are currently preparing a review of the existing gaming law and preparing the public tender that will decide the future of the six current gaming dealers and sub-dealers.

Make your choice

The plan emphasizes that over the next five years, new points of economic growth will be developed by promoting industries such as medicine and health, modern finance, high technology, exhibition and trade, culture and the sports.

The traditional Chinese medicine industry will be a “starting point”, with the promulgation of the new law and the establishment of a medical products administration to regulate the industry, in order to attract large pharmaceutical companies to s. ‘settle in Macau.

In addition, with the “preferential policy” given by the central government, the government of the SAR aims to penetrate the continental market and gradually extend to Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia, in using Portuguese-speaking countries as a breakthrough point.

For traditional industries and small and medium-sized enterprises, the plan underscored the need to help enterprises create the “Macao brand” and export products to the mainland market by promoting good use of technology and digitization. with the mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPA) zero tariff policies.

CEPA is a trade agreement that respects the “One Country, Two Systems” principles that deal with customs procedures, intellectual property rights, and economic and technical agreements. Under the agreement, no tariff will be applied to goods traded between the two regions.

With regard to the current mainstay industry, gaming and tourism, the plan clarifies that while ensuring the stable development of the gaming industry, it is essential to foster the development of non-gaming businesses with elements creative and distinctive, thus attracting more international and diverse tourists.

In order to promote “tourism +” products and high-quality tourism, elements such as culture, gastronomy, exhibition, sport will be further integrated into the development of the tourism industry.

All about finance

On the financial industry side, the plan highlights the need to accelerate the development of the bond market with more policies to attract companies from Portuguese-speaking countries and mainland China to issue bonds and raise funds in the city, in particular. from the Grande Baie region.

The government hopes to make the central securities depository (CSD) a widely recognized system for the continental and international bond markets.

The central securities depository (CSD) opened yesterday (Wednesday) aims to develop the bond market and consolidate Macau’s role as a financial services platform connecting mainland China and Portuguese-speaking countries.

The government also highlighted the need to use the Cross-border Wealth Management Connect program and improve financial sector laws and regulations, in order to expand wealth management and leasing activities and attract more foreign financial companies to set up in Macau.

Joel C. Hicks