Illegal phone bets set to increase as a result of Coronavirus

Illegal phone bets set to increase as a result of Coronavirus

Analysts say illegal phone bets could rise as gamblers blocked from travelling to Macau from mainland China.

Macau.- Analysts have warned that the decline in gamblers being allowed to travel to Macau as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak could lead to a major rise in the number of illegal phone bets.

“Even though it is illegal, I expect to see an increase in phone betting in casinos”, said the founder of gaming regulation consultancy, Newpage Consulting, told news agency Lusa.

The analyst said he believes phone betting will increase as a result of China’s decision to ban travel visas for people looking to travel from the mainland to Macau.

Macau’s economy relies heavily on the gaming industry, which is fuelled by visitors from mainland China. Last year, for example, more than 27 million visited the SAR from mainland China.

But visitor arrivals during “Golden Week” were down 76.5 percent year-on-year, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) revealed today.

China has raised the number of Coronavirus-related deaths to 170 with more than 7,700 infected by the pneumonia virus.

The Government of Macau has extended the Chinese New Year holidays to until Friday for public sector workers, a measure that has also been adopted by several private companies, in a bid to prevent the virus from spreading further.

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