acau will shake up its casino regulator by more than doubling the number of gaming inspectors and restructuring several departments in its latest move to ramp up supervision, reports Reuters.
The executive council that advises Macau's chief executive announced proposals to boost the number of inspectors from 192 to 459 and create a new director-level post at the regulator.
Last Friday, the council said in a statement on the government's website that the regulations will take effect once published in the city’s official gazette. Local media estimates it will likely be within a few weeks.
The change comes just months before the expiry of multi-billion-dollar casino licenses that will require operators Sands China, Wynn Macau, MGM China, SJM Holdings, Melco Resorts, and Galaxy Entertainment to rebid for new gaming concessions.
Macau has massively tightened scrutiny of casinos in recent years, with authorities clamping down on illicit capital flows from mainland China and targeting underground lending and illegal cash transfers.
Beijing has also intensified war on cross-border flows of funds for gambling, affecting the financing channels of Macau's junket operators and their VIP casino customers.
Macau has struggled with a dearth of travelers because of coronavirus curbs since the start of 2020. While gambling revenues have picked up in recent months, they are less than half the 2019 figure.