Macau’s Legislative Assembly Gives Approval To New Gaming Credit Bill
- Under the new Bill, management companies would no longer be allowed to issue credit to players
- Only concessionaires and junkets would be permitted to enter into gaming credit contracts
- If approved, the new Bill would replace the existing gaming credit law
Macau’s Legislative Assembly has approved on the first vote a new gambling credit Bill that would prohibit non-concessionaire companies from issuing credit to players. Under the proposal, only official Macau gaming operators and licensed junkets would be allowed to extend credit for gambling.
Management Companies Could No Longer Offer Credit for Gambling
The current gaming credit law, Law No.5/2004, allows entities that operate casinos via a concessionaire license, referred to as “management companies”, to enter into a contract with the concessionaire to issue credit to players. This particular provision has been removed under the new Bill, titled “Legal regime of credit concession for gambling in casinos”.
Management companies would no longer be permitted to establish any casino gaming credit contract, as only concessionaires and junkets can issue credit. Junkets would still be required to sign a formal contract with a concessionaire before extending credit to players.
Major violations of the new rules, such as providing credit through a third party, or failing to establish an appropriate risk-management system, would subject casino concessionaires to a fine of up to MOP5.0 million (US$618,932). Junkets committing similar offenses would face a penalty of between MOP600,000 and MOP1.5 million.
The Legislative Assembly passed the Bill unanimously on May 19. According to Lei Wai Nong, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, the new Bill is very similar to the current gaming credit law, except for some technical adjustments that would allow Macau’s gaming credit business to develop more healthily.
The legislation will now be deliberated at an assembly committee. Once passed, the Bill will undergo final reading at a plenary meeting. If approved into law, the new rules will take effect on January 1, 2024.
Changes to Illegal Gambling Laws Could be Announced In 2023
The Macau government announced the new gaming credit Bill during a press conference in late April. In attendance were Adriano Marques Ho, director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, and Andre Cheong Weng Chon who acted as spokesman for the Executive Council. Both officials stated that the new Bill would replace the existing gaming credit law, though they did not give more details as to the differences between the new legislation and the current law.
At the briefing, Mr. Cheong also revealed that the government was reviewing existing regulations regarding illicit gambling and would put forward new proposals to the Legislative Assembly this year for deliberation.