|João Nuno Riquito
Macau continues to face the challenges resulting from
the 26 month-long dip in local casino revenue. However, amid
expectations of a recovery, the city's gaming regulator is
introducing structural adjustments to the gaming industry.
These adjustments aim to encourage the diversification and
sustainable development of Macau's economy.
One of the matters under consideration is the creation of
new regulations for electronic table games (ETGs), beyond the
technical requirements that are already in force. The criteria
in respect of the number of ETG seats in relation to
traditional gaming tables is one of the items to be defined by
the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ). According
to a May 2015 report from investment bank Union Gaming Research
Macau, the current ratio is approximately 50 to 60 ETG seats to
one traditional table.
Also on the DICJ's agenda is strengthening the regulation of
gaming promoters, as recommended by the mid-term review of the
gaming industry. This aims to tackle issues such as: the
liberal entry and exit of the market by promoters and their
excessive bargaining power; credit concession; and, the custody
of client money and chips or the absorption of investments or
deposits. Some of these issues were addressed by new accounting
guidelines for promoters, stricter anti-money laundering rules
and the ban on phone betting. However, according to a recent
press release, the DICJ has launched a revision to
Administrative Regulation 6/2002 (as amended in 2009), to raise
the entry threshold for new promoters. The DICJ is also
considering a feasible solution to establish a central credit
database for junket promoters to share information on clients
with overdue debts.
Finally, the DICJ is studying the revision of Law 10/2012
which regulates the conditions of entering, working and gaming
at casinos, to prohibit gaming workers from gambling in casinos
during non-working hours.
João Nuno Riquito and Bruno Almeida