A total of 291 requests for exclusion from Macau casinos was received by the city authorities in the first half of 2019, up from 233 such bids in the first six months of 2018.
There were 252 applications for self-exclusion in the six months to June 30, up 26 percent in year-on-year terms, based on the half-year data that was published previously for 2018, when there were 200 such requests.
In the first half this year, 39 of the aggregate number of exclusions were applied for by third parties, such as family members, said Macau’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, which maintains the list of those excluded. In first-half 2018 there had been 33 such applications.
In the second quarter of 2019, there was an aggregate of 142 bids for all forms of exclusion, with 22 of those applications coming via third parties.
The tally of exclusion requests for the midpoint of 2019 – i.e. first and second quarters combined – is already equivalent to nearly 60 percent of the aggregate 490 requests for exclusion in 2018.
Since the law enabling exclusion of people from casinos came into effect in 2012, the numbers of requests to have people barred, whether received from the individual concerned or from somebody else, have usually risen each year, but not always.
The law provides for people to be barred from casinos for a period of up to two years in the first place, and for longer if warranted at the end of that period.
People can be barred from all casinos in Macau, or just some casinos, depending on the terms of the request.
Defying an order barring an individual from casinos is punishable by up to one year in prison or a fine.
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Andrew Lee and David Katz
Analysts at brokerage Jefferies LLC