Macau government to step up gaming regulation

By David Cook
Macau chief executive Dr Fernando Chui Sai On has announced that the government will be taking a greater involvement in regulating the Macau gaming market.

Chui was speaking at his annual policy address, where he laid the government’s plans to bring gaming growth back to the former Portuguese colony, which is the only region in China where casino gambling is legal.

Last year saw Macau post 351.5bn patacas ($44bn) in casino revenue, which was a drop of 2% and was the first time the market had seen an annual decrease in casino revenue since records began in 2002.

Chui said: “After a decade of opening up and rapid growth of the gaming industry, the pace of development has started to slow down.

“The government will strive to adjust the pace without changing the momentum, seeking stable growth amid adjustments.

"The Macau government's supervision of the gaming industry is not excessive. Nor will it be excessive in future. We will remain cautiously optimistic.”

Year-on-year casino revenues in the city have declined for the last nine consecutive months, with February’s total of 19.54bn patacas being 48.6% down from 38.01bn patacas in the same month last year.

That decline broke the record for the biggest ever year-on-year fall in revenue, beating December’s 30.4% year-on-year descent to 23.29bn patacas.

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