Although the Macau regulator has reported that the potential use of a digital yuan in Macau's casinos is 'fake news', this new form of currency could jeopardise the gaming promotion activity that has underpinned the entire industry since the 1980s. A centralised, trackable and seizable digital currency would provide never-before-seen visibility over clash flows to the city cages. This could singlehandedly cut off the shadow banking and money laundering activities that have plagued economies worldwide.
The government has issued a draft law on tax benefits for undertaking activities dedicated to scientific and technological innovation. This draft law is a consequence of the Macau Special Administrative Region Policy Address for the Fiscal Year of 2019, particularly in relation to innovation in the areas of technology and smart-city development, and aligns with the goal of transforming the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area into an international centre of science, technology and innovation.
Macau's tourism and entertainment industry has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With this in mind, the Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly initiated discussions on the draft law on hotel establishments' activities, which the government submitted to the Plenary in February 2019. This law is welcome, as it will update the 1996 law and modernise the legal framework which governs Macau's economic engine.
In Macau, administrative acts must generally be performed in writing. Thus, given the way in which COVID-19 has affected everyday life, Law 2/2020, which was recently approved by the General Assembly, could not have come at a more appropriate time. This e-government law enables public bodies to undertake various actions and formalities electronically and, together with Law 5/2005, provides the tools for modern, paperless proceedings.
Amid the global COVID-19 crisis, the Legislative Assembly has approved Law 5/2020 on workers' minimum wage, which aims to protect workers and avoid overly low salaries. The new law has expressly revoked the minimum wage for cleaners and security workers in the property administration industry and is the first almost-universal regulation to set a minimum wage in Macau.