With the New Year, came new limits for UnionPay cards. Beginning on the 1st of January, new restrictions set forth by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange in China were imposed on the cards, including ATM withdrawals and personal limits. Macau‘s GGR is expected to be impacted due to the new restrictions but only on a limited basis.
Foreign currency cards and RMB cards are affected with the daily and annual ATM cash withdrawal limits now changed. Both will now have restrictions of RMB 10,000 per day and RMB 100,000 per year. In the past, there was no limit placed on foreign currency cards.
Another restriction includes the personal limit restrictions per individual. No matter how many accounts an individual has with UnionPay or cards they have, no more than RMB100,000 per year can be withdrawn. In the past, there was no limit, except for RMB100,000 set per year per account.
With overseas cash withdrawals, individuals who exceed withdrawal limits will have ATM withdrawals suspended for the remainder of the year and the next year. According to Asia Gaming Brief, Union Gaming stated that they do not expect the changes to have an impact on GGR. The mass sector is reportedly not to be affected as their contribution is usually on the lower end, below the threshold limits. VIP gamers also usually play with credit.
According to Bernstein Research, the new rules may create further capital controls this year, which could affect Macau. The group stated that the new policies could create some headwind with the GGR for this year, however, the larger concern would be capital movement clamp downs out of China.