Macau is accepting bids from seven casinos, with one to be eliminated.

Macau is accepting bids from seven casinos, with one to be eliminated.

Bids are due on Friday from seven companies, including a wildcard from Malaysian operator Genting.

The six incumbent Macau players have submitted bids, together with GMM Limited, a holding company of Genting Group Chairman Sri Lim Kok Thay.

GMM's application was seen as a surprise to many executives and analysts, with some saying it posed extra uncertainty for local operators.

Genting would have been encouraged to apply and would be a good fit given they are the only operator of the applicants with a strong background in theme parks, said Ben Lee, founder of Macau gaming consultancy IGamiX.

"There is a chance they can topple one of the incumbents, they (Genting) think so, too, otherwise they wouldn't have laid out a HK$10 million ($1.27 million) buy in bet."

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The sector has been reeling since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macau's new casino licenses are expected to begin in 2023 and are crucial for the six incumbents to keep operating their properties.

Macau's gaming sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with revenues plunging 70% in 2020 compared to 2019 levels. The new casino licenses, which are expected to begin in 2023, are crucial for the six incumbent operators to keep their properties running.

The government is expected to review the proposals and negotiate with the bidders before announcing six winners by the end of November or early December.

The Macau government is currently reviewing all of the bids and will be negotiating with each of the companies before making a final decision on who will be awarded the licenses. The announcement is expected to come by the end of November or early December.

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When bidding, "special consideration should be given to develop foreign tourist markets, experience in operating casino games, investment in gaming and non gaming projects for Macau's benefit, plans to manage the casino, plans to monitor and prevent illegal activities and social responsibilities,"

The bids are being evaluated on seven criteria, including the applicant's experience in operating casino games and plans to invest in gaming and non-gaming projects.

Subsection 3.2 The decision on who will be awarded the licenses is expected by the end of November or early December.

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