Macau’s government recently confirmed that they had agreed to set a cap on the number of Mainland China visitors who will be allowed to enter Macau. The cap has been set at 21 million visitors per year and will be reviewed once again next year.
Macau receives a huge influx of visitors from Mainland China everyday and most of them visit to play at Macau’s casinos. The government is also looking to encourage international tourism and draw more visitors to Macau. One of the reasons for these new regulations is to protect the citizens of Macau and ensure that their lifestyle continues to develop and not decline.
In a statement, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng said “According to a study by IFT [Institute for Tourism Studies] Macau has the capacity to receive 89,000 to 92,000 visitors per day. However, during the Chinese New Year there were 147,000 visitors per day. This number is well above the city’s capacity according to the IFT study and if this trend continues the quality of life of residents will be affected”
Macau has also imposed a smoking ban in all of its casinos as it wants to curb smoking in public places in order to protect and increase its safety regulations. The government has also been tasked with the responsibility of changing Macau’s image of being the biggest gambling hub in the world to one that promotes education, tourism and innovation. The government has plans to construct a number of nurseries, hospitals and retirement homes in order to raise the standard of living in Macau.
Due to the decline of Macau’s casino industry in the last 12 months, a number of casino workers have been left unemployed. Macau’s government is looking to invest into re-training these former casino employees and will then look to assist them in finding a new career and starting a new life.
Now that Macau has imposed a restriction on the number of Mainland Chinese who are allowed to enter Macau, neighboring countries such as the Philippines, Singapore and South Korea will benefit from the influx of Chinese tourists who will visit on a much more frequent basis in order to play the casinos. These countries have gambling laws that are not as strict as Macau and are aggressively promoting customized casino tourist packages that target VIP gamblers in Mainland China.