The core policy-making organ of the Government of Macau, the Executive Council, on Friday announced during a press release a bill which proposes that gaming workers within the Chinese special administrative region be banned from casino floors during non-working hours. The governing body reportedly says the measure aims to bridle problem gambling among casino workers, most notably card dealers.
GGRAsia reports that according to the press release, the measure, which will now make its way to the Legislative Assembly for vote, also includes those employees whose positions are not directly involved in gaming operations, such as food and beverage workers, cleaners, cage staff, and surveillance staff.
The bill also bans the use of image and sound recording devices, mobile phones and other devices for communication by gamblers within the table gaming areas in casinos. These bans were already reportedly inferred within guidelines that were issued by the Macau’s casino regulator, however, the bill, if passed, will make it law.
The measure also reportedly clarifies that once an individual who is barred from entering a gaming floor is found in breach of the existing ban, any of their casino winnings or wagers can be seized by local authorities.
Investment analysts reportedly estimate that the contribution to the city’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) by local players is small when based in percentage terms and Macau gaming operators already have contractual bans regarding their casino employees partaking in gambling on company premises.
The government of Macau also proposes that any casino employee found in a local casino after working hours would be subject to a fine of between MOP1,000 (US$125) and MOP10,000 (US$1,230)
Similar to civil servants within the city being banned from casino floors except for a brief window of time during the approximate 23-day Chinese New Year holiday, the government’s measure envisages the city’s casino workers being permitted to partake in casino gambling the first three days of the holiday period.
GGRAsia reports that in May 2016, representatives from the city’s gaming regulator said that local authorities were considering rules prohibiting gaming employees from casino floors during off hours and that at the time, the measure was supported by two of Macau’s gaming labor groups.
The measure further proposes straightforward proceedings to deal with instances where individuals under the age of 21 are found on a casino floor in the city. The government reportedly communicated that because the majority of people found to be in breach of the rule were tourists, introducing simplified proceeding would result in more efficient handling of such cases and a reduction in related costs.
The bill moreover states that an individual under the age of 21 found to be inside a local casino could be immediately fined by the casino regulator’s inspectors and if the individual admitted their offense, could be subject to a fine of MOP1,000. The rules regarding age entry reportedly state that any individual under 21 who enters, works or takes part in gambling in a casino is subject to a fine of between MOP1,000 and MOP10,000. A stiffer fine of between MOP10,000 and MOP500,000 faces a casino operator who allows an individual under 21 to the same.