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Latest regulations in Macau’s gaming industry

João Nuno Riquito
The rapid growth of Macau's economy – driven by the gaming industry – has filled the region with a permanent presence of world players from gaming and gaming-related businesses. Ten years have passed since the new concessions (and the sub-concessions) were granted. During this time, the growth of the business industry and its related industries has been taking place in a relatively tolerant and deregulated environment.

With six-times the revenue of Las Vegas and nearly 30 million visitors per year, the casino industry is the driving force behind Macau's economy, representing more than 40% of Macau's overall GDP.

This fact, together with the increasing international visibility of the Macau gaming industry, as well as the increasing competition (and ambition) of the players involved, is making regulation inevitable. As the authorities are beginning to recognise this need, a number of new bills and executive orders are coming out, or being prepared, to regulate several matters related to the gaming sector.

It is possible to see two main directions in this new trend of regulation and legislation: social protection measures, and limitation on the influence of third parties in the concessionaires and sub-concessionaires gaming activities.

On the social measures side are the smoking ban ordinance establishing the requirements for casino smoking areas; Law 10/2012 establishing restrictions to enter, gamble and work in casinos; and Regulation 26/2012 approving certain restrictions on gaming machines other electronic gaming equipment location next to residential areas.

On the limitation on the influence of third parties side are the limitation on the gaming promoter's remuneration to 1.25% of the total bets; and Regulation 26/2012 approving a new regulatory framework for the supply of gaming machines, gaming equipment and systems.

Clarification of the game rules will clearly benefit the industry in the medium- and long-run, and it is believed that this will contribute to the affirmation of Macau as the world's biggest gaming and leisure centre.

João Nuno Riquito & Rui Filipe Oliveira

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