In the first six months of 2015 a total of 183 people made requests to be excluded from Macau casinos. It is the equivalent of nearly two-thirds of the 280 that registered for exclusion in the whole of 2014, said the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, which maintains the list.
The data show there were 168 self-exclusions in the six months to June 30, with the remaining 15 exclusions being applied for by third parties, such as family members. The figures do not identify how many Macau residents have joined the casino exclusion scheme. Anyone doing so must agree in writing to be added to the exclusion list, regardless of whether they apply directly or the request is made by a family member.
Any person can apply to be excluded from entering casinos in Macau. The maximum exclusion period is two years but it can be extended. The applicant can apply for exclusion from all or just some casinos. Those who fail to comply with the exclusion order risk up to one year in jail or a fine.
Findings of a survey published in April 2014 indicated that Macau residents’ gambling participation rate has gradually decreased from 67.9 percent in 2003 to 49.5 percent in 2013. The study also showed that monthly average gambling spend had decreased to MOP505 (US$63.3) in 2013 from MOP755 in 2010.
A total of 2,158 telephone interviews with Macau residents aged 15 to 64 were conducted for the study. Macau’s Social Welfare Bureau commissioned it from the University of Macau’s Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming.
According to the institute, the data showed that the problem gambling prevalence rate among Macau residents had decreased from 2.8 percent in 2010 to 1.9 percent in 2013, and the pathological gambling prevalence rate had fallen from 2.8 percent in 2010 to 0.9 percent in 2013.
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”The Macau government is not aiming to trivialise or drive out the junket sector, but to regulate the sector so that it would not hurt Macau’s reputation”
Alvin Chau Cheok Wa
Chief executive of privately-held VIP junket business Suncity Group