Macau To Crackdown On iGaming & Boost Responsible Gaming Initiatives
Macau is the biggest gambling hub in the world and is frequented by millions of Chinese gamblers each year since it is located just an hour away by ferry from Hong Kong and Mainland China. Macau is the only place in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) where gambling is legal.
A number of illegal online gambling operators have used Macau in their licensing information falsely and targeted Chinese gamblers.
The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau which is the gaming regulator in Macau has targeted these illegal gaming websites for the last few years in an effort to clean up the market and protect Chinese gamblers.
The gaming regulator confirmed that it had shut down over 300 illegal iGaming websites between 2016 and 2018. Director Paulo Martins Chan stated that Macau will continue to very strict in its approach to online gaming operators and will work together with internet providers and payment processors to keep illegal online gaming websites from operating. The regulator is monitoring over 500 illegal gaming websites that are targeting Chinese gamblers and will blacklist them shortly.
Suncity Not Being Investigated
Chinese media that were government owned recently targeted Macau junket operator Suncity Group for encouraging illegal online gaming activities. Suncity denied all those allegations and its CEO released a statement confirming that the company will fully comply with Macau gaming regulations and ensure that all of its operations including in international jurisdictions will comply with Macau gaming regulations.
This commitment appears to have satisfied Chan who confirmed that no investigation would be launched into Suncity Group’s alleged illegal online gaming activities.
Gambling is Not Business – Responsible Gambling Initiative
Macau is also looking to promote responsible gambling practices in a more effective manner this year. The slogan for 2019 is ‘Gambling is Not Business, Stay in Control’. A press conference was organized earlier this week which saw key stakeholders of the gaming industry, government and NGOs get together to discuss new initiatives that can be taken to promote responsible gambling in the region.
Chan had positive numbers when it came to responsible gambling education in Macau. He pointed out that in 2009 only 16.2 percent were aware of responsible gambling practices but in 2017 this number went up to 63.7 percent thanks to the efforts of his department. The gaming regulator will continue to work with the six major casino operators in Macau to further promote responsible gambling practices in the coming months.