“I really think this is the moment to legalise online gaming”

Macau's new restrictions to visitors come in force to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

Jason Ader says online gambling could help operators overcome the challenging period caused by Coronavirus.

Macau.- Jason Ader, the CEO of SpringOwl Asset Management, has said that online gaming should be legalised in Macau to offset the drop in revenue from the Coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with Gambling Insider, Ader said it’s something that the Chinese government ‘should really consider’ after Macau recorded an 80% drop in gambling revenue in March.

He said: “I really think this is the moment, if you have a license in Macau, to legalise online gaming. The Chinese government has been against online gaming and you do have a black market there for people who are playing online, but there really shouldn’t be.

“Why not allow your licensees in Macau to connect with those customers in mainland China. The Government would obviously watch it and monitor, regulate and control it but at least you then have the potential to tax and regulate online.

“Allow the mass market and the premium mass market in Macau to play online in the current environment and that loss of tax revenue would be mitigated; I think that’s the key. Gaming exists because it’s an economic driver and source of revenue, so that is something I think the Chinese government should really consider.”

He went on to say that the drop in gambling revenue was unsurprising, stating ‘nothing is normal right now’.

“There wasn’t any surprise with the 80% drop; there was a moment in the period where it was down 100%. Nothing is normal right now with borders being reclosed and the distance between the tables in casinos, with dealers all wearing masks. It’s not even close to being back.

“I know the Macau Chief Executive’s goal was to have things back to normal by May but I don’t think there’s any real chance of that given the more recent flare up with respect to new outbreaks.

“I think the quarantine measures are probably going to be in place for at least a whole month. We have another tough month ahead for gaming Macau.”

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