Only gaming operators can extend credit

Macau: Proposed amendments to gaming credit law set for final legislative assembly vote in April

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The proposed amendments to Macau's gaming credit law are anticipated to undergo a final vote in April at the Legislative Assembly (AL), lawmaker Chan Chak Mo said on Tuesday.

Originally introduced by the Executive Council last year, the bill aims to establish a legal framework governing the granting of credit associated with games of chance. 

The updated draft of the bill is currently under review following adjustments made by the government. A significant change proposed in the bill is the discontinuation of credit issuance by casino intermediaries or junkets, with the latter restricted to acting solely as agents for casino operators.

Only gaming operators would be authorized to extend credit, media reports said. Junkets would be restricted to receiving remuneration for tasks such as “guest acquisition and reception."

Chan revealed that the committee had received objection letters from junkets/casino intermediaries, citing the effectiveness of current practices and their contribution to tax income for the Special Administrative Region.

The junkets argue that their ability to extend credit should be maintained, saying that it would contribute to an increase in government tax revenue. The letters have been referred to the government for its consideration.

The bill stipulates that only licensed casino operators can issue credits in the form of casino chips, with cash credit prohibited. However, intermediaries with contractual obligations to licensed casino operators may issue credits in the form of chips, subject to approval by the Secretary for Economy and Finance.

Furthermore, the bill empowers Macau authorities to review and approve agency partnerships between gaming concessionaires and junkets. The government will also have the authority to require modifications to agency contracts based on principles of legality and public interest.

The proposed amendments seek to regulate credit extension in the gaming industry, aiming to enhance transparency and accountability while ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory standards.

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