The Macau government intends in future to collect biometric data on all visitors to the city, which it says is in line with common practice internationally. The local authorities state the move will help to detect people seeking to enter the city under a false identity.
André Cheong Weng Chon, Macau’s Secretary for Administration and Justice, gave the news on Friday when announcing at a media briefing, that the government had finished drafting a new law bill covering immigration, stay and residency matters.
The new bill also proposes that the city’s hotels be required to provide the immigration authorities with check-in and check-out information on all non-local guests within 24 hours of such processes occurring.
The majority of gamblers at Macau’s casinos are tourists, according to a number of investment analysts covering the gaming industry.
The bill aims additionally to allow suspension of – under specific circumstances – the current maximum 60-day detention period for those caught either entering Macau illegally, or remaining in the city unlawfully.
There would also be a power of precautionary retention of travel documents held by such people, to stop them “intentionally delaying” steps to expel them.
The government said the new bill would replace two existing immigration- and residency-related laws and two by-laws.
Macau’s Executive Council, an advisory body to the government, has completed its review of the bill.
The bill must now be approved by the city’s Legislative Assembly, before coming into force.
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”The notion that somehow the Macau gaming companies can be used by China as negotiating pawns in a geopolitical negotiation with the U.S. is definitely without merit”
Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu
Analysts at brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd