The government suggestion for Macau casino workers to be barred from entering casinos during non-work hours has garnered initial support in the local community, said Paulo Martins Chan (pictured), director of Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
Mr Chan said the government has already reached a “preliminarily consensus with different social parties,” reported public broadcaster TDM. The report did not identify the participants in the discussions.
The head of the city’s gaming regulator said however that more time was needed to collect additional opinions from the public, especially from casino workers.
Mr Chan made the comments on Tuesday during an event at the University of Macau promoting responsible gambling.
The government had mentioned in June the possibility of introducing changes to the law that regulates who can enter, work and gamble in the city’s casinos.
The city’s gaming regulator had said in a statement in June that representatives from 11 Macau casino worker groups broadly backed the government’s plan.
On Tuesday, Mr Chan said that despite the preliminary consensus, other measures have to be considered before amending the existing law, including how such a ban would be enforced.
“It’s not decided yet. We’re still collecting the opinions of the public in particular the [casino] dealer community … We have to see what is going on and we have to collect the ideas of the various parties involved,” Mr Chan was quoted as saying.
A similar ban already exists for the city’s civil servants, who usually are only authorised to gamble in casinos during the Chinese New Year holiday period. It is also common practice in the local industry for gaming operators to bar their own staff from gambling on company premises.
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"The [Macau] government has a lead in this subject in regards to what should be done after the [gaming] concessions expire. We will be first listening to what the government will say”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings