Macau’s regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, has reportedly approached local casino operators concerning introducing the digital yuan, China’s central bank-backed cryptocurrency, according to Bloomberg. However, Macau’s Government Information Bureau has discredited the news in a statement published on December 2, where the regulators said that the rumor about introducing digital yuan in gaming casinos is false.
The prestigious news outlet reported that the city’s regulators are examining the possibilities of buying casino chips with digital yuan instead of the Hong Kong dollars, which players currently use. Despite there has been no official announcement regarding introducing China’s digital currency to Macau’s gambling industry, casino operators have recorded losses in reaction to the rumors last week.
Furthermore, some junkets are already abandoning the industry. They claim that the incorporation of the digital yuan may lead to further losses of gambling revenues in Macau. Already, Macau lost $27 billion in revenue in 2020 as a result of the global health crisis. As the economy is struggling to rebound, the introduction of the digital yuan may trigger more declines. Also, it would mean that high-roller Chinese gamblers no longer need to convert their yuan into Hong Kong dollars to bet big, reducing the junkets’ role as providers of credit.
With a successful introduction of the digital yuan into casinos in Macau, China’s central bank would have access to the capital flowing into the gaming sector. According to Bloomberg, the regulators are not considering digital payment platforms AliPay and WeChat, which will not assist the government in tracking capital flows.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has already ordered the trial of digital yuan in Suzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Xiong’an, and at the upcoming Winter Olympics in 2022.