Following last week’s arrests of 17 individuals accused of running a proxy betting syndicate online, the casino regulator in Macau has reportedly urged casino and junket operators to remain vigilant concerning a ban on the use of mobile telephones at gaming tables.

According to a report from GGRAsia, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau declared on Friday that it was paying “close attention” to the alleged proxy betting case, which is thought to have seen the ring utilize the WeChat social media platform via their mobile telephones in order to stream two to three live VIP baccarat games a day to punters from an unidentified Cotai Strip casino.

“[The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau] has demanded of gaming concessionaires and promoters that, besides strictly complying with the casino table-side telephone ban measure, they step up inspection efforts regarding the use of telecommunications equipment in other casino areas,” read a June 16 statement from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. “Anyone suspected of wrongdoing should be immediately reported to the authorities.”

GGRAsia reported that last week’s arrests represented the second time this year that an alleged proxy betting syndicate has been cracked after April saw police detain seven mainland Chinese citizens for their supposed involvement in a similar illegal ring that is thought to have earned around $1.3 million. This case is similarly thought to have seen the WeChat platform utilized in order to stream live games of VIP baccarat from a Macau casino to players located outside of the former Portuguese enclave.

Macau instituted its table-side mobile telephone ban in May of last year with Steve Wynn, Chief Executive Officer for Wynn Macau owner Wynn Resorts Limited, reportedly stating at the time that the prohibition would bring an end to wagering via telephone in the city. Before this, VIP clients had been permitted to utilize their devices while gambling at casino tables so long as they had registered for that purpose.

However, as last week’s arrests showed, the ban has not brought a complete end to the use of mobile telephones at Macau’s gaming tables and the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau had reportedly issued some 71 verbal cautions up to April with the majority of these infractions at 49 being handed out since January.

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