As grand casino developments reshape the skyline of Macau and grow at astounding rates, so do business and investment opportunities in the territory. The former Portuguese enclave has come to justify its reputation as the “Monte Carlo of the Orient” and the “Las Vegas of the East”, and the gross gaming revenue of the jurisdiction has quickly surpassed Las Vegas and the State of Nevada, making it the largest gaming city in the world.
With a history of more than three centuries in Macau, the gaming industry is the lifeblood of the local economy. After 40 years of a monopoly concession for casino games of fortune, the Government of the Macau SAR decided to liberalize the gaming industry and initiated a public tendering process for gaming licenses. Gaming licenses in Macau are granted under a regime of administrative concessions and subconcessions. There are currently six concessions and subconcessions of casino games of fortune, with each of them being authorized to open more than one casino. There are also monopoly concessions for two pari-mutuel betting and three lottery operations. The former take the form of greyhound and horse racing, while the latter are offered to the public in the form of instant, sports and Chinese lotteries. Gaming promoters are subject to a licensing system.
Liberalization of casino games brought competition advantages which resulted in the current gaming boom, whose effects are also extended to satellite industries such as construction and tourism. This robust investment means that while a good deal of legal work is focused on the financing of infrastructure for mega casino resort projects and luxury hotels, there are also many other issues requiring legal assistance, such as hotel management agreements, licensing and regulation of gaming promoters and state-of-the-art gaming technologies, including player tracking systems and slot machine games downloadable from a casino server.