American Casino Giants Face Wild-Card Rival as Macau Opens License Bids

HONG KONG—Casino operators in Macau 9-outbreak-11657565443?mod=article_inline" rel="noopener noreferer" target="_blank" class="css-1h1us5y-StyledLink exk4ewm0">have seen their fortunes slip as China’s “zero-Covid” policy cut the city off from many visitors in recent years. Now the companies face another wild card: A surprise challenger for the city’s new gambling licenses.

On Friday, the Chinese gambling hub of Macau opened bids for 10-year casino licenses, which will come into effect after the current ones expire at the end of 2022. Now, seven companies are vying for six available spots, after an affiliate of Genting Group headed by a Malaysian billionaire, submitted an unexpected last-minute tender before this week’s deadline.