Macau tightens up regulations again

Macau is going through a major decline in its casino incomes for the second consecutive year.

Macau.- Since the strengthening of the economic regulations in Macau, the gambling hub has been suffering drops in its incomes. The only city that allows Chinese residents to play in casinos has been known as the biggest global gambling hub of the world, along with Las Vegas. However, its major service, the VIP sector, has been controlled by anti-money laundering regulations that this month are getting tighter.

The Gaming Bureau, Inspection and Coordination authorities for Macau’s casinos, announced that the stricter control –proposed in May 13th– will enter into force this month. New regulation completes the anti-money laundering legislation introduced in 2006, which has been considered as the main reason of the gambling hub’s decline.

Casino industry in Macau is mostly affected by the nationwide anti-corruption campaign that has slow down the economic growth by controlling the VIP sector. “Casino and junket operators now have to assume more due diligence and operational obligations, and to adopt more pre-emptive measures,” explained Karen Tang, analyst at Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong. This sector attracts millionaire players to offer services in luxury casino venues, such as Galaxy Entertainment, Wynn Macau and SJM Holdings.

The new regulation will keep daily records of casino transactions and add compliance officers to control determined businesses. These conditions will be added to the verification of large or suspicious reports submitted by junkets and the confirmation of operators’ reports about the identities of ultimate beneficiaries for transactions over $500,000 patacas –US$60,000–. Furthermore, neither casinos nor junkets will be able to use an alias to operate.