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Macau Lawmakers To Toughen Casino Ban Law

Lawmakers in the former Portuguese colony of Macau are discussing ways to harden the new draft law concerning people ban from casinos.


Generating 5 times the gaming revenue of Las Vegas, Macau lawmakers are rushing to approve new legislation containing criteria based on which people can be banned from entering gaming areas inside casino resorts.


The new draft law restricting access to gaming area states that individuals can be banned from entering casinos only if they file a voluntary request or accepts one submitted by their relatives.


However, members of the first standing committee of the Legislative Assembly (AL) currently reviewing the draft have a different opinion. “[The filing of voluntary requests] would only happen with people who are really motivated on overcoming their addiction,” committee chairman Kwan Tsui Hang told journalists on Tuesday. “Out of control gamblers will reject any ban, and so their situation will not improve in the slightest,” she added.


Lawmakers want to find ways to mention the possibility of issuing non-consentual bans in a case-by-case scenario in the new law. This point of view was reiterated in a meeting with the secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen. During the meeting, committee members said that in the"most serious cases" casino bans should not rely on the consent of the gambler.


The new law is also increasing the minimum age for casino patrons and employees from 18 to 21. People aged less than 21 years of age will not be permitted to enter and work in a casino, a scenario with potentially harmful effects on Macau's casinos current employees. If passed as is, the law could cause some 1,500 casinos employees to lose their jobs.


Lawmakers are asking the government to reconsider and reduce the scope of age restriction from most positions like security, cleaning, entertainment and restaurant workers, to those jobs directly linked to gaming like dealers, pit and floor supervisors positions only. “We suggest that consideration should be given to the possibility of restricting solely those [jobs] that have a direct contact with gaming,” committee chairman Kwan Tsui Hang said.


Mrs Kwan also noted that so far none of the six casino operators in Macau had sent any opinion on the draft law to the commission.


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