Macau’s Chief Executive to be Granted Power to Revoke Gaming Licenses if National Security Law Violated

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The Macau SAR Government has told the Legislative Assembly (AL) that the revised gaming bill would grant the Chief Executive the power to rapidly terminate a concessionaires’ gaming licence via an administrative order if it was deemed they had violated national security laws.

The AL Second Standing Committee continued its closed-door discussions with government representatives on proposed amendments to Macau’s gaming law last Friday. According to the draft bill, if gaming operators endanger the security of the state of the Macau SAR, the Chief Executive could rescind their license without compensation.

The President of the Second Standing Committee, Chan Chak Mo, told reporters after the meeting that the government wanted to speed up the process in such situations by avoiding the need to go through judicial procedures.

“If the security of the state and the SAR were involved, the government would use the ‘concept of uncertainty’ rather than the ‘National Security Act’ to deal with it. However, the judicial process (of revoking gaming license) would be dilatory and the [license term] might even over by then. Therefore, an administrative order would be a better option,” Chan said.

In such a scenario, the Chief Executive would need to hear the opinions of the gaming regulator before making any final decision to revoke a casino license and provide sufficient explanation for doing so. The concessionaire involved may also appeal to the court.

According to Macau’s current national security law, which is also up for revision, criminal activities include treason, secession, sedition, subversion and theft of state secrets, among others.

The members of the Standing Committee accepted the government’s explanation, meaning the article will likely be included in the final gaming law.

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