Gaming Credit Bill Passes First Reading at Legislature

May 19, 2023 | Legislature

MACAU, SAR (May 18, 2023) — Macau lawmakers have given their first nod to the new bill governing gaming credit on Thursday.

After its first reading, the bill – expected to become effective early next year – will soon reach a Legislative Assembly panel for closer scrutiny.

Under the new bill designed to strengthen regulation of local junket operators, only gaming concessionaries and the junkets they partner with are allowed to extend credit to gamblers, with violators of the new rule facing a maximum fine of MOP5 million (US$620,000).

Management companies – mainly third-party promoters of local satellite casinos – are prohibited from engaging in such business.

During today’s brief discussion before a vote, lawmaker Ron Lam U Tou called for the inclusion of gaming operators in the Credit Data Platform for banks that came into service on 1 January this year.

“Even the banks themselves needed a centralised system for credit information, would it be possible to use to deal with credit issues associated with junkets?” said Lam. “There could be threats to the financial system if the banks were unaware of credit on this side.”

However, Adriano Marques Ho said that established practices in the industry had already allowed both gaming companies and junkets to keep tabs on their clients’ credit status.

“The junket sector has now had a ‘rather good’ system of its own when it comes to lending money, like the banks,” said the head of the gaming watchdog. “The gaming operators certainly have their own as well, ones that allow them access to borrowers’ credit records.”

The bill passed today seeks to require gaming concessionaires and junkets to establish a system for the purposes of managing credit risks and of maintaining credit records for their clients.

SOURCE: Macau News Agency.

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