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DICJ director talks security, risk mitigation

Mitigating risks and the enhancement of casino security was the focus of the keynote speech delivered by Paulo Martins Chan at the Macao Gaming Show on Tuesday.

Chan, who heads the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, spoke of a number of security measures adopted following recent tragic events.

“In order to better protect the safety of casino patrons and reduce terrorism risk, the DICJ has maintained close communication with the judiciary police and the security departments of gaming operators in order to constantly review the adequacy of existing casino security measures.

“In response to recent changes in the global situation, the DICJ immediately requested the gaming operators to strengthen security levels at its casino entrances.

Chan said the regulator also called for the adoption of more preventative measures, such as the installation of more metal detectors and the setup of a crisis communication mechanism.

The gaming regulator said it has also resumed its system of banning of people that conduct irregular activities, such as the use of phones on the floors.

The regulator also mentioned increasing its scrutiny of gaming promoters - with plans to tighten standards for junket operators starting January.  

"When the market gets better, more people are eager to come back and do business, but Macau regulators will be more cautious during the junket approval process," said Chan during the show.

However, stronger oversight isn’t necessarily a bad thing, says Bloomberg analyst Margaret Huang, as it would allow the larger junkets to target better quality players from China.

“Operators would also strive to better compete in this market by delivering higher quality, luxury facilities and amenities to cater to this business segment,” said Huang in a Bloomberg report on Tuesday.

During an annual policy address on Tuesday, Macau chief executive Fernando Chui also discussed the need to increase oversight on junkets.

The chief executive also told local reporters that mid 2018 will be an “appropriate” time to reveal more information on the renewal of gaming licenses, local media reports.

Chui said as of now, it wasn’t ready yet to release new measures.

“The mid term review for the gaming sector has already been done and we’ve consulted public opinion. We want to assure the healthy development of the gaming sector in correlation with the development of Macau as a tourism destination… As of now we’re not in the condition to releasing new measures,” said Chui, quoted by Macau Business Daily.

More news from this jurisdiction

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Macau’s gaming regulator published a breakdown of Macau GGR for the fourth quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, revealing higher than expected mass performance and decelerated VIP growth in the quarter.

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The second week of January saw stronger GGR numbers, says brokerage firm Bernstein, which has revised up its GGR estimate for the month.

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A group of gaming workers from Wynn Macau have submitted a petition to the MSAR government complaining of Wynn’s alleged tolerance of clients’ illegal smoking.

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Casino operator MGM recently supported a University of Macau (UM) study tour to Las Vegas.

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The Adelson Family Foundation on Tuesday presented a cheque for more than $1.9 million to the University of Saint Joseph.

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The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is set to open in the second quarter of 2018, according to people familiar with the matter.