May 30, 2022 Newsdesk Latest News, Macau, Top of the deck
The inspections carried out by Macau’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, could benefit from the ability of staff to be able to make digital reports to a shared database, rather than via paper reports, says a study by two local gaming scholars.
The paper, titled “Unveiling Macau Gaming Inspectors: Functions, Conditions and Operations”, was published last week in the online edition of University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Gaming Research and Review Journal. The authors of the paper are Wang Changbin and Ryan Ho Hong Wai, both local scholars from the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies of the Macao Polytechnic University.
Macau’s gaming regulator, also known by its Portuguese acronym DICJ, dispatches staff for on-site inspection in the city’s casinos round-the-clock. The inspectors – assigned on shifts every day – generally rely on paper and oral communications to disseminate information related to their on-site inspections and to deliver work messages, which is a practice that could lead to inefficient workflow, the scholars suggested.
“Information dissemination and work messages are mostly in written form, and such manual document system could impede the efficient workflow of the gaming inspection and even cause communication breakdowns during shift changes,” the scholars wrote in the paper.
Insight into the operational aspect of on-site gaming inspections from DICJ’s officials was gained via a number of means, including talks with casino staff, and a review of relevant government documents, the authors noted.
They have suggested that the Macau casino regulator should “expedite the establishment of an electronic management system” for its casino inspectors. That could help enhance regulatory efficiency and “avoid human errors or omissions” when delivering their work messages, the authors highlighted.
Such system, if set up, could also allow inspectors to “have direct assess to a variety of regulatory information, streamlining the work arrangements and avoiding misdirected documents,” wrote Mr Wang and Mr Ho.
The local gaming scholars also highlighted the issue of a shortage of inspectors at DICJ, relative to the high number of gaming venues in Macau, which led to questions on the adequacy of the inspection work. A restructuring of DICJ was approved last year, allowing the number of gaming inspectors to double, from 159 to 324. Overall, the number of staff has been expanded to 459, from the previous 192-post capacity.
But the recruitment and training process of new gaming inspectors could take “considerable time” and the staffing shortage was therefore likely to “continue for at least a couple of years”, the scholars remarked in the paper.
In order to tackle the current staffing shortage, they suggested, the government should consider setting “mobile on-site inspection and mobile offices for gaming inspectors” that work round-the-clock, in both the Macau peninsula and Cotai district, the authors said. That would be instead of deploying gaming inspectors to each gaming venue.
“When the duty supervisor [of a mobile office] receives a request for assistance from a casino in the designated district, an appropriate number of inspectors will be deployed to address the issues depending on the circumstances of individual cases,” the scholars suggested.
They also recommended the casino regulator to organise more mandatory professional training for its casino inspectors, in order to enhance the effectiveness of on-site checks.
“With regular and mandatory professional training, gaming inspectors’ overall gaming knowledge level can be significantly enhanced, and better inspection performance can be achieved,” they added.
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