There were around 350,000 instances in 2016 of casinos in Macau reporting they had refused entry to people under the age of 21, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported on Tuesday, citing data from the city’s gaming regulator.
The quoted figure – a new annual record – is higher than the number of entry denials to under-21s recorded in full-year 2015, which stood at around 236,000 refusals, according to numbers issued by the Gaming and Inspection Coordination Bureau.
From November 2012, Macau increased the minimum age for entry to casinos from 18 to 21. The move was described at the time as designed mainly to protect locals and encourage Macau young people to stay on in education rather than to become casino dealers straight from high school. Only Macau ID holders can be employed as dealers in the city’s casinos.
The rules state that any person under 21 that enters, works or gambles in a casino will be liable to a fine of between MOP1,000 (US$125) and MOP10,000. A casino operator allowing any person under 21 to enter, work or gamble in a casino will be liable to a fine of between MOP10,000 and MOP500,000.
The Macau government is currently considering introducing rules barring casino workers from taking part in any gaming-related activity inside casinos during non-work hours.
Local players’ contribution to Macau casino gross gaming revenue is estimated by investment analysts as being small when judged in percentage terms.
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”I wouldn’t be surprised if the [Macau casino] licences get extended for a year or even two years”
Lawrence Ho Yau Lung
Chairman and chief executive of international casino operator Melco Resorts