“New gaming bill necessary to enhance industry standards” says Macau CE

Macau’s gaming law amendment bill is expected to get a final reading by June.
Macau’s gaming law amendment bill is expected to get a final reading by June.

Macau’s chief executive Ho Iat Seng spoke about Macau’s new gambling legislation at a question-and-answer session with members of the Legislative Council.

Macau.- Ho Iat Seng, Macau’s chief executive, has spoken about the city’s gaming law amendment bill at a question-and-answer session with members of the city’s Legislative Council. He said the bill was needed to raising regulatory standards, strengthen enforcement and ensure support from authorities in mainland China.

Ho said Macau’s casino industry is currently at one of its lowest points but said that by implementing new “standards for healthy development” in the casino industry, “the city will gain the support of the mainland.”

Without the introduction of such changes, Ho said Macau’s gaming industry would shrink because anyone promoting cross-border gambling would be convicted in mainland China. 

He added: “Now, they [the mainland authorities] will be able to guarantee the healthy development of Macau’s gaming industry.”

The amendment bill sets out a gaming concession period of up to 10 years that can be extended for a further three years in exceptional circumstances. There would remain up to six concessions but the current sub-concession system would end.

The bill proposes that casino operators in Macau be given minimum annual casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) targets, which would be calculated based on the maximum number of gaming tables and gaming machines each gaming concessionaire is permitted to operate.

As for junket operators, the bill would allow them to each provide services to only one casino operator.

Ho also referred to “the multiplier”, a practice by which table bets represent private bets between players and junket industry employees, and can be multiples of “official” bets. He described this as “a serious act of tax evasion and has a negative impact on the mainland, and on money laundering efforts.”

Macau satellite casinos “fraught with opacity and undesirable business practices” says academic

A report by Professor Ryan Ho Hong Wai, a lecturer at the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies at the Macao Polytechnic University claims Macau’s satellite casinos are “fraught with opacity and undesirable business practices”.

He says the end of the current sub-concession system under Macau’s proposed new gaming law would provide more “transparency, legal certainty, and full oversight of the city’s gaming industry.”

Under Macau’s proposed new gambling law, satellite casinos would be allowed to continue operating in the local market but would be given a three-year grace period to link the ownership of their sites to one of the city’s six franchises. However, Ho Hong Wai cautioned that authorities must still clarify relevant legal and technical issues, such as ownership issues, arising from the complexities of the proposed casino partnerships.

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