acau Chief Executive Fernando Chui's comments could brighten the outlook for existing casino operators including Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts and their locally listed units Sands China and Wynn Macau as potential curbs would help profits by limiting oversupply.
"Apart from those we have agreed in principle in the past, in construction and those already approved, we will regulate ( approval of the building of new casinos) in the future," Chui said at a news conference on Tuesday, after delivering his first policy address.
Chui also said the government planned to set up a regulatory body to monitor the growth of the gambling industry. Shares of U.S.-listed casino companies operating in Macau fell on Monday on wariness that the Chinese city's new CEO could unveil a 2010 policy plan that caps its fast-growing gambling industry.
In Hong Kong, shares of casino operators ended down between 0.2 and 2 % on Tuesday. Macau has repeatedly sought to rein in the explosive growth in the only market in China where gambling is legal.
Earlier government strictures, dating from April 2008, included a moratorium on new casino licenses, a building freeze and a cap on visas to mainland Chinese visiting Macau, moves seen as motivated by an increasingly concerned Beijing.
The Macau government was unlikely to make new gambling concessions available, the territory's chief gambling regulator told Reuters in an interview in January.
Gambling revenue in Macau, which passed Las Vegas several years ago to become the world's number 1 gambling centre, rose nearly 70 % in both January and February, compared with a year earlier.
Other Macau casino operators include Galaxy Entertainment Group, SJM Holdings Ltd, Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd and a casino run by MGM Mirage and local businesswoman Pansy Ho. Separately, Chui said Macau will speed up the development of public housing, in a bid to cool its red-hot property market.