Government Delegates; Macau Gaming; Gaming Concessionaires; Supervision


Administrative Law | Gaming and Casino Operations Management | Gaming Law

Document Type

Original Review Article (Essays, Opinion Pieces, and/or Book Reviews)


Macau Government announced in the consultation document for the amendment of Law No. 16/2001 (Macau Gaming Law) – whose public discussion ended on October 29, 2021 – that it intends to introduce Government Delegates into the casino gaming concessionaires.

According to the consultation document, the appointment of government delegates will extend the Government direct supervisory powers over the casino gaming concessionaires and ensure that public interest is given precedence, as well as will be a form of proper guaranteeing compliance and fulfillment of the duties and obligations of the casino gaming concessionaires.

Such a system has existed in Macau since at least 1956, with the extension to Macau of the applicability of the Decree-Law No. 40 833, of October 29, 1956, enacted by the Presidency of Council of Ministers of Portugal, in which the duties of the delegates and directors appointed by the government are defined in an extensive and comprehensive manner.

The referred Decree-Law established the general principles in force in the current regime – under Decree-Law No.13/92/M, of March 2, 1992 – for the government delegates and directors appointed by the government. Such current regime will serve as the basis for the amendments to be introduced to the Macau Gaming Law.

This article intends to provide a historical view of the concept and how it applies to the concessions of public services and other exclusive rights companies, such as the concessions for casino games in Macau, and to resort the regime that may be expected when the amendments to the Macau Gaming Law are introduced.

We will provide an overview of the concession regime and its roots, the rules applicable to government delegates and their role throughout history, the reasons for the proposal to introduce the government delegates in the Macau casino gaming concessionaires, the results of the consultation process recently published, and what can be expected in the amended Macau Gaming Law.