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Macau illegal gambling law imposes fines for gambling in public places


Macau’s new illegal gambling bill aims to impose fines for gambling activities in parks and other public places.

According to the Macau local media outlet TDM, the Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly (AL) continued to discuss the bill on combating illegal gambling crimes.

Committee President, lawmaker Chan Chak Mo, stated that concerning illegal gambling on public streets, the bill proposes to broaden it to gambling in “public places,” constituting an administrative violation punishable by a fine ranging from MOP1,500 ($186) to MOP5,000 ($620).

He mentioned that the scope of public places is “relatively large,” encompassing squares and parks, and the committee seeks clarity on the original intention of the government’s legislation and whether it will broaden the enforcement scope.

He further noted that the bill includes special provisions to mitigate or exempt punishment for minor offenses. Offenders who gather evidence, provide crucial information to the police, aid in apprehending other responsible individuals, and disclose the truth may receive reduced sentences or exemptions from punishment.

Additional penalties

The bill suggests additional penalties in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Law. Apart from being sentenced for a crime, individuals may also be separately or concurrently sentenced to additional penalties, such as prohibition from certain places or areas for a period of 2 to 10 years; prohibition or suspension from engaging in certain professions or businesses for a period of 2 to 10 years. 

Lawmaker Chan pointed out that the relevant provisions do not specify which places or what kind of professions, and it is unknown whether the provisions refer to related gambling venues. The clarity of whether the prohibited professions are related professions or any profession is also unclear. Although judges make judgments on crimes, the committee believes that the scope is too broad and hopes for a clear legislative intent.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.