Bill proposes 1-year jail for illegal mahjong gambling

2024-04-10 02:51     BY Ginnie Liang    Comment:2

Lawmaker-cum-restaurateur Andrew Chan Chak Mo, who chairs the Legislative Assembly’s 2nd Standing Committee, said yesterday that anyone operating unauthorised mahjong gambling for profit faces up to a year behind bars, while anyone taking part in illegal mahjong gambling faces a fine of between 1,500 and 20,000 patacas.

Addressing a press briefing after yesterday’s closed-door meeting reviewing the government’s illegal gambling bill, Chan added that as long as gambling was for profit and unauthorised, it was considered illegal regardless of the venue.

Taking playing mahjong in residential premises as an example, Chan said, “If a landlord rents out his flat for playing mahjong on an hourly basis, he or she is operating a business for the purpose of making a profit without authorisation”, adding that it is an administrative offence for a gambler to knowingly play mahjong there.

Chan said the bill proposes that those who operate, promote and organise online gambling or parimutuel betting in Macau without obtaining authorisation face imprisonment for between one and eight years, irrespective of whether or not the computer systems, installations, equipment or servers are located in Macau.

Chan also noted that the government-drafted bill proposes to punish gambling-related loan sharking by imprisonment ranging between one and five years.

Anyone coercing another person to gamble or providing another person with resources to gamble faces between two and eight years behind bars, Chan said, adding that the redrafted bill has added the offence of “providing gambling resources”, and he hoped that the government would clarify the specific circumstances and legislative intent of it. 

Lawmaker-cum-restaurateur Andrew Chan Chak Mo (right), who chairs the legislature’s 2nd Standing Committee, talks to reporters after the committee’s closed-door meeting reviewing the government’s illegal gambling bill yesterday, while the committee’s secretary, Lam Lon Wai, looks on. – Photo: Ginnie Liang

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