This content is from: Local Insights

Macau: New gaming targets

João Nuno RiquitoBruno Almeida

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

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