am made the announcement during a plenary session of the legislature to present his portfolio’s 2012 policy guidelines, according to The Macau Post Daily. Tam said that the government would strengthen its supervision of the gaming industry, in an attempt to promote its balanced and orderly development.
The government will strictly control the number of new casinos and gaming tables,” Tam reiterated, adding that “Until 2013, the total number of the gaming tables will be kept at 5,500”.
“Based on the city’s resources and its capacity and in order to keep the gaming industry developing in a moderate way, as well as to ensure a sustainable economy, the average growth in the total number of gaming tables will be kept at three percent over 10 years from 2013,” Tam said.
According to the latest official figures, there were 5,379 gambling tables in Macau at the end of the third quarter.
Responding to Legislative Assembly (AL) Vice President Ho Ion Sang’s questions about why the government has set the average growth in the total gaming tables at three percent over 10 years from 2013 and whether such a growth rate meant that the government would continue to be “favourably biased” towards the gaming industry, Tam said that such a growth rate was “acceptable”.
“The government has basically signed 20-year contracts with the six gaming operators… the government has to review [the development of the gaming industry over the years] as we are just half way through the contracts,” Tam said, adding, “The rapid development of the gaming sector has brought a great deal of pressure to the overall development of Macau.”
Tam also said that “after listening to the opinions of different sectors, the gaming sector’s development should be stricly regulated … In the 10 years from 2013, the number of gaming tables will be increased by nearly 2,000,” Tam said, adding that “such an increase in the number of gaming tables will take place over a few years, this is acceptable.”
Tam stressed, “It is an unarguable fact that the gaming industry’s development has benefitted the whole of society … if the city’s gaming sector could not further develop this would impact Macau ’s future economic environment.”
“Thus there must be room for the gaming sector to further develop … to maintain its vitality for the city’s development,” Tam added.