Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said on Thursday that Japan’s future casino operations were potentially a threat to the local gaming industry.
Leong made the remarks when speaking to reporters after a closed-door meeting of the government’s Convention and Exhibition Industry’s’ Development Committee at the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM).
Lifting a long-standing ban on casino operations to boost the country’s economy, the upper house of Japan’s bicameral parliament approved the government-initiated Integrated Resorts Promotion bill early Thursday morning. Casino operations will commence in 2022 at the earliest, according to Japanese officials.
Leong said the specific details about Japan’s future gaming industry were still unknown. “The [local] government will closely monitor Macau’s potential competitors all over the world so as to evaluate the competitiveness of the city’s gaming industry,” said Leong.
Leong said the government would study and determine how the city’s gaming industry can continue to have the upper hand, especially when local casino operators’ agreements with the government come to an end between 2020 and 2022.