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Government urges gaming operators to remain election-neutral

Officials held a meeting with representatives of the city’s gaming operators and junket promoters briefing them on the Legislative Assembly Election Law which requires them to remain politically neutral in the upcoming legislative elections.

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Officials held a meeting with representatives of the city’s gaming operators and junket promoters on Wednesday, briefing them on the newly amended Legislative Assembly Election Law which requires them to remain politically neutral in the upcoming legislative elections, Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Committee (CAEAL) President Tong Hio Fong said.

The direct and indirect legislative elections will take place on September 17.

Members of the government-appointed committee and officials from the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) and Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) jointly held a closed-door meeting with executives of the city’s six gaming operators and senior members of the Macau Junket Promoters Association at the DICJ headquarters in China Plaza.

Tong, CCAC chief André Cheong Weng Chon and DICJ Director Paulo Martins Chan briefed reporters after the meeting.

Citing the Legislative Assembly Election Law, Tong reaffirmed that gaming operators and junket prompters as well as their on-duty staff are not allowed to join any election campaign activities and do anything which may favour or hinder any candidates, adding that anyone who violates the regulations will be fined and even faces imprisonment of up to three years.

Tong, a judge by profession, also said gaming operators and junket promoters and their staff are not allowed to display anything related to election campaign activities, nor do any campaigning when they are on duty, even when they are taking a break or having a meal in the canteen at their place of work.

Moreover, gaming operators and junket promoters are not allowed to display any election campaign-related posters on their premises, including staff lounges and canteens, Tong said. However, Cheong added that displaying posters promoting the elections in general would not be illegal.

Asked by a reporter if a gaming operator ought to resign if he or she wanted to stand in the upcoming elections in order for his or her company to remain politically neutral, Tong said the law did not state that such a candidate needed to resign from his or her post in the gaming industry.

A total of 12 government officials and 16 representatives of the gaming and junket sectors attended the meeting.

(Macau News/The Macau Post Daily)

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