Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, said Wednesday that the non-gaming offerings of Macau’s integrated resorts should form another key sector of the SAR’s economic development in the next decade, and that Macau should get rid of its image as a “gambling city”.
Macau held a question-and-answer session on Wednesday on the policy address of the Secretary, where a number of legislators expressed concern over the ongoing struggles of the gaming industry. Lei responded that the government had asked the tenderers to operate non-gaming elements in the future because the community needed new economic sectors.
“In the next 10 years, the non-gaming elements should form another sector of Macau’s economic development, so the non-gaming element and the gaming element should become two important economic pillars of Macau in the future,” he said.
“The development of the gaming industry over the past 20 years has given tourists the impression that Macau is a gambling city. We need to change the image of Macau as a gambling city, which is why the SAR Government is very concerned about non-gaming elements, because we need to enhance the positioning of Macau as an integrated tourism and leisure center, otherwise tourists will only be a single source in the future, and we will not be able to compete with neighboring regions.”
A member of the Legislative Assembly asked Lei about the revitalization of Macau’s communities. In response, Lei cited the case of Las Vegas where some areas of the city suffered a downturn as the Las Vegas Strip grew.
“It is not the wish of the people of Macau, nor is it the policy of the Macau government, that only the Cotai Strip prospers while the community is dying,” he said.
“The Macau government needs to change the image of the gaming industry, as Macau has culture and other tourism facilities.”