Macau Officials to Vote on a Measure to Keep Casino Employees from Gambling
The Macau Legislative Assembly voted to bar casino employees from gambling, even when they are not on duty. This represents a significant change from earlier policies regarding gambling. However, it also represents a continuing pattern of a crackdown by the Chinese government against money laundering and corruption.
Casinos at Macau
Macau has more casinos than any other spot in the world at 38. It is also the most profitable casino area in the world, with over $30 billion in revenues in 2017, nearly three times the revenues of Las Vegas, its next closest rival. Macau has been at the top of the casino game for a while, taking over the top spot from Las Vegas in 2008. However, recently Macau has had problems with its casino gaming. First, the Chinese government has initiated a crackdown of what it calls money laundering and corruption in Macau casinos. The government began observing casinos more closely, which made high rollers nervous. Chinese government officials also prohibited government employees from entertaining potential business clients because of the possible corruption. All of the scrutinies caused an exodus of high rollers from Macau.
In addition, China itself has seen an economic slowdown due to internal problems, and the ongoing trade war with the United States.
The Ongoing Corruption and Money Laundering Effects on Gaming
The Chinese government has been continuing to investigate the corruption it feels is rampant at the casinos. In fact, several casino workers and government agents have been arrested for money laundering charges. Historically, it has been easy to launder money at the casinos, because of the sheer amount of cash involved in casino transactions. The Chinese government has been fighting against money from gangs in China being spent in Macau casinos. Usually, a member of the gang will pay someone from the casino to gamble the money or go in and do direct money exchange. This way, when the money comes out, it is “clean.”
The New Legislation
The Macau Legislative Assembly’s new law keeps employees in certain jobs within the casino from gambling or even from being on the premises if they are not working. Employees who work on betting machines, cage cashiers, food and beverage sellers or preparers and security guards are barred from the casino if they are not working.
Critics have pointed out that enforcing the ban on casino workers is going to be difficult. Chinese officials said they would begin to enforce the ban through random checks at first. However, the government also said that it would also rely on the casinos themselves to monitor their own employees. Many casino operators have said that it will be difficult for them to monitor their employees, since casinos employee hundreds of employees on each shift. 456
The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said it plans to hire additional workers to help with monitoring casino employees. The bureau said it also plans to use facial recognition software as well as security cameras to recognize and track the casino employees.
The law currently allows casino employees to be inside the casinos on the days they work. They can also be inside the casino for training purposes. Employees may also be allowed inside the casino on holidays, such as the Lunar New Year and Golden Weeks.
The law is not scheduled to take effect in 2019 or 2020, so that gives casinos time to figure out how to enforce the new legislation. In addition, casinos are not certain how the new law will affect VIP gaming rooms, which already have legislation specific to them. In addition, the casinos are also hoping the law will help those workers who report having a gambling addiction to stay out of the casinos when they are not working.
An energy industry consultant who spends a lot of time on North Sea oil rigs and conducting studies in and around the Arctic Circle. Sean started playing online casino games to compensate for long periods of boredom. In no time he turned from casual player to fan to fanatic and has since made it his mission to study the online casino universe from the players perspective. As a regular participant and contributor to Top Casino Picks, Sean sits in the Top Casino Picks advisory board and oversees our review team.
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