Macau: technology could drive gaming industry recovery

Analysts say Macau should look to new technologies such as cashless transactions to drive recovery but regulatory input may be required.

Macau.- Macau could see a recovery from the Coronavirus crisis through technology and cashless solutions, according to gaming experts.

The idea was mentioned during a conference titled “Macau Gaming Tourism: The Road to Recovery”, hosted by Macau law firm MdME Lawyers.

Once the gaming industry in Macau is back to normal levels of activity, cashless transactions could be a way to address the hygiene and comfort concerns for players at gaming floors.

Such technology, if adopted, could potentially impact the deployment of gaming machines at casinos, the experts on the conference said.

Some gaming suppliers have already developed applications that utilise embedded technology to enable casino patrons to play at live tables through their smartphone or tablet from any permitted area within a casino.

However, technological solutions for gaming floors that involve money might raise concerns regarding social and responsible gaming in Macau, where it would be necessary for a regulatory process from the local authorities to be implemented.

In response, Nuno Martins, a senior legal counsel at Macau casino operator Sociedade de Jogos de Macau SA, a unit of SJM Holdings Ltd, said: “We are shifting from a cash society to cashless society. This will imply some [regulatory] adaptation.

“For sure there are some controls that the government wants to impose in order to ensure a safe way [adoption of such technology]; and also to have the relevant anti-money laundering rules in place in order to trace where the money comes from.

“It is normal that the government wants to take its time to adapt the regulation and to adapt the control measures,” he added.

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