Macau - Proposed Revision Of Law No. 10/2012 – Entry In Casinos.
Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - Macau - Regulatory & Compliance
3 July, 2018
Based on the alleged negative influences of the gaming industry workers, the Macau SAR proposed the enhancement of legislation to promote a healthy and sustainable development of the sector. According to the Government, the negative effects are suffered in the case of casino employees, whose role is of vital importance to the development of Macau’s gaming industry and whose tasks may make them particularly vulnerable to the hazards of gaming.
Following the Public Consultation conducted between the 27th September and 26th October of 2017, Macau SAR Government elaborated a proposal to revise Law no. 10/2012 that establishes the legal framework of the Conditions of Entering, Working and Gaming at Casinos.
The amendments proposed have two main objectives:
- to protect gaming employees from the negative impacts of their exposure to gaming and therefore promoting a “Responsible Gaming” environment; and also
- to simplify and introduce a more effective sanction procedure in several areas of the gambling legal framework.
Commencement, effectiveness and enforcement
The proposed revision will enter into force on the day following its publication, with the exception of the part concerning the effects of the new ban on entry into the casinos, which will only take effect one year after the date of publication of the law.
Prohibition of entry of concessionaires and subconcessioners workers
A general provision will bar casino workers from taking part in any gaming related activity inside any casinos during non-work hours. All workers are included in the prohibition: gaming tables, gaming machines, treasury bureaus, public relations, catering, cleaning and security, and also workers who are in charge of monitoring casinos.
This prohibition is exceptionally lifted during the first three days of the Lunar New Year and also for training purposes and participation in associative activities.
Casino workers penalties
Administrative infringements - fines will be imposed in case of violation of the prohibition of entry and gaming by casino workers.
Simplification of the sanction procedure of the general public
Regarding the illegal entry of individuals under 21 years old in casinos a simplified and in loco sanction mechanism will be established. This will consist on the application of fines with possibility of voluntary payment.
Precautionary seizure of chips or other benefits of the games
Provisions concerning the precautionary seizure of chips and other benefits of gaming will be implemented in order to effectively guarantee the reversion in favor of Macau SAR of the unlawful amounts received by those forbidden from entering and playing at casinos.
Images and sounds prohibition
Further measures regarding the prohibition of recording images and sounds at casinos will be implemented.
Further measures to control the use of mobile phones and other communication equipment around gaming tables will also be established.
A specific procedure for treatment of images and sounds captured inside the casinos will also be implemented.
Third party exclusion application
In case an exclusion imposed to those affected by a gaming disorder is lifted at the request of the excluded, the third party that requested its exclusion will have to be notified.
In line with a prohibitive system, Macau Government seems to impose these measures as a preventive action for what is considered by the Government as a potential problem: the addition of the casino workers. In our view, it goes too far as the existing law was more than sufficient to cope. No figures of the problem were shown, and it seems, at least in the case of the casino workers, that it may have contradictory effects, but only in the future one can see whether this is an effective measure to a (real or imaginary) problem.
Pedro Cortés, Partner, Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortes - Advogados