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Macau Government plans to limit casino growth

Last edit: Atltrainman on Tuesday, 13th October 2009 4:45 am
Last response by Dramman 28th October 3:02pm

The Macau government, in a statement, said the six casino operators agreed officials would prevent "unlimited expansion" of Macau's gaming sector. The government may review the number of table games operating in Macau, 4,390 as of earlier this year.

Francis Tam, Macau's secretary for economy and finance, on Monday told representatives of the six operators that the government was also seeking to raise the entry-age limit for casinos to 21 from the current limit of 18.

Macau's government also said it would ban slot machines from residential areas of Macau. The city itself has about 13,500 slot machines. The slot-machine regulations would be drawn up in the next two to three months, the government said, while the new age limit would require approval by Macau's Legislature.

"Our main policy is that economic growth has to be diversified, and anytime there is a conflict, then the gambling industry has to be regulated," Tam said in televised remarks. "This is the government's strong belief."

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 Dramman responded on Wednesday, 28th October 2009

This seems to me to be more a restatement of policy than anything. The only thing Macau has close to slots in residential areas are the MOCHA clubs operated by MELCO, and even those are in "international" class hotels. Besides given how small the SAR is, I would think it would be pretty hard to limit to only "residential areas". The only ones exclusively residential is the northern half by Zuhai, and the southern point of Colongne that is so small there is no real market there.

I would think the statement is more to limit real estate speculation in the SAR. Residential development has been booming, particularly on Taipa. Part of that is due to the idea of selling condo/timeshare type developments near the casinos (that big development on the hill overlooking Venetian and COD sticks out in my mind).