Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen (pictured) says the government hasn’t set a deadline to restrict the use of China UnionPay swipe card devices inside casinos.
“I don’t have an actual date. We reiterate that we are monitoring everything that has to do with UnionPay or other similar cases that occur here in Macau,” Mr Tam told reporters today.
“It is our responsibility to find solutions and improve oversight and regulation,” he said quoted by Macau media.
Macau authorities and UnionPay are reportedly cracking down on the use of bogus transactions in Macau to circumvent mainland China’s tight money controls.
Media reports say casino operators in Macau have until July 1 to get rid of unregistered UnionPay mobile swipe card devices from their venues. Reuters reported that banks in Macau were urged by the Monetary Authority of Macau to restrict UnionPay transactions at shops selling jewellery and other luxury items on casino gaming floors.
Mr Tam said adequate measures would be taken if needed. But he pointed out that the use of the portable devices is not illegal if authorised by UnionPay.
UnionPay sales in Macau in 2013 totalled US$22.5 billion, almost half of Macau’s gaming revenues, according to Reuters.
The Monetary Authority of Macau declined to comment about this issue when approached by GGRAsia.
Macau media says authorities have been sweeping casinos for illegal UnionPay machines. Two men were arrested yesterday with two unregistered UnionPay mobile swipe card devices, Chinese-language Macao Daily News reported. The pair also had with them HK$690,000 (US$89,000) in cash and HK$500,000 worth of gaming chips.
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