China’s national security concerns visible in Macau’s new laws
MdME Lawyers Macau law firm has released a detailed outline of the amendment to the Macau Gaming Law and Public Tender Regulations, the comprehensive changes passed by the region’s Legislative Assembly Administrative Special (SAR) in June that will now change the way dealers, junkets, and even consumers interact or conduct gaming activities of any kind.
A reading of Macau’s new gambling laws sheds light on national security
In its assessment of the current situation, MdME said Macau is aligning its industry more closely with the preferences of Chinese authorities in Beijing. Essentially, the powers to terminate concession contracts are given to the SAR regulator to ensure that national security is maintained.
The firm believes that the concept of national security has been extended to apply to business and the economy and far beyond territorial or military integrity and strength. Through the passage of these new laws, the SAR seeks to place equal emphasis on cybersecurity and financial security as well as economic and technological integrity.
Much of the new laws also aim to ensure that the continent’s $150 billion flow to illegal operators stops once and for all. This is also part of the larger vision of national security under the new laws.
The laws address opportunities for dealers or junket operators to explore weaknesses in the previous regulatory setup, including through the use of VIP rooms that had little liability compared to the current reading of the law. MdME also adds:
This subtle but important difference regarding the broader economic role of the gambling industry is linked to another new policy objective introduced by the Gaming Act Amendment: regulating the size of the gambling industry.
Indeed, Macau wants to ensure that any money coming from its gambling industry in the future comes primarily from foreign travelers willing to visit Macau and explore this and other aspects of the larger experience.
No more hard-earned Chinese yuan spent on gambling in Macau
China wants its citizens to stop crossing the border with the SAR and also spend their money there. Tourism takes center stage, but concessionaires remain an indelible part of the SAR’s industry and economy. National security concerns and Beijing’s emphasis on this aspect of the experience are undeniable, as Macau looks to be less dependent on the game in the coming years.
This is reflected in the broader policies that have reduced the number of junket operators, reduced dealer licenses from 20 to 10 years, and generally made it much more difficult to secure gambling revenue. This should in theory lead to better implications for national security and a diversification of the current economic landscape.