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The rules for casinos and credit could soon tighten

Under proposed legislation, casino operators will only be able to give credit to punters directly, rather than through intermediaries.

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A new revision to gaming credit legislation that requires concessionaires to extend credit to players directly – rather than through intermediaries – is expected to pass the Legislative Assembly in April, according to reports.

During a press conference on Tuesday, legislator and chairman of the Legislative Assembly Standing Committee, Chan Chak Mo, revealed that the finer details of the law had already been deliberated and that it would be submitted to the Legislative Assembly for review and voting next month. 

The new bill will closely regulate credit extension activities in the casinos and impose penalties of up to 5 million patacas (US$615,000) for violations. Junket operators that contravene the law by providing credit to punters will be punished with fines of up to 1.5 million patacas (US$185,000). 

[See more: A proposed legal amendment will tighten sources of credit for high-rollers]

The regulations have not been well-received by the junket companies, which have petitioned the government against the proposed new rules. 

The head of the Macau Professional Association of Gaming Promoters, U Io Hung, told Inside Asian Gaming: “If a new player wants to borrow money, we can only refer him to a concessionaire, but the concessionaires will have to re-approve this player, which may take some time. I don’t think there is a player out there who would wait a week or two for a loan approval just for gambling.”

In recent years, Macao’s junket sector has faced a slump, following the arrest of major industry figures such as Suncity’s Alvin Chau and Tak Chun Group’s Levo Chan.

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