Govt vows to continue crackdown on online gambling

2019-07-17 08:00     Comment:1

The government has been cracking down on illegal online gambling and will continue to do so, resulting in over 300 websites being shut down between 2016 and last year, Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) Director Paulo Martins Chan said yesterday.

Chan pointed out that many of the now defunct websites had illegally used the name of Macau.

Chan’s bureau, the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) and the Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming (ISCG) at University of Macau (UM) co-organised a press conference yesterday at Macau Tower about this year’s responsible gaming promotions, themed “Gambling is Not Business, Stay in Control”.

It was attended by 150 representatives from the government, gaming sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the media.

Chan noted that his bureau has been promoting the prevention of problem gambling by organising a wide range of activities over the past decade, adding that awareness of responsible gambling among residents increased significantly from 16.2 percent to 63.7 percent between 2009 and 2017.

According to the ISCG website, responsible gambling is a practice that confines the gambling-related damage to a socially acceptable level. It occurs in a properly regulated environment where one’s involvement in gambling activities brings no harm to the gambler, family members, friends, other gamblers, or casino staff; nor would it lead to negative consequences for the local community and residents, the website points out.

Chan underlined that his bureau, the city’s six gaming operators and several NGOs have joined forces to organise a string of events from this month until the end of the year, such as a family day for casino employees, a banquet and an interactive mobile game, with the aim of fostering “correct” gaming behaviour and values among tourists and locals alike.

Facial recognition
Concerning the possible installation of facial recognition systems in local casinos, Chan told reporters after the press conference that that “two to three” casinos were currently testing such systems, adding that regardless of whether the systems are in their trial phase or actual operation, the casino operators needed to inform his bureau and obtain prior consent. The operators must strictly abide by the Personal Data Protection Law, Chan underlined.

Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) Director Paulo Martins Chan speaks to the media at Macau Tower yesterday. Photo: Rachel Lei


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