Macau approves illegal gaming bill on first reading

Jenny Ortiz 1 month ago
Macau approves illegal gaming bill on first reading

Members of the Macau Legislative Assembly approved on first reading the bill against illegal gambling.  

The bill entitled “Law to Combat Gambling Crimes” was introduced last year in a bid to curb criminal influence within the gaming industry.  

Supported by authorities at China’s Special Administrative Region, the bill aims to update the existing Illegal Gambling Regime, which has been in place for almost three decades.  

With 29 legislators voting in favour, the government-backed proposal signifies a significant step towards addressing concerns related to gambling-related offenses.  

Clarifications needed in the draft legislation  

Legal experts specializing in gaming have highlighted the importance of clarifications to fully evaluate the effectiveness and underlying objectives of the draft legislation.    

Central to the proposed law is the augmentation of maximum jail sentences and the duration of “preventive detention” for gambling offenses, including activities such as clandestine betting through the “multiplier” system.   

Moreover, the bill seeks to prohibit the operation, promotion, and organization of online gambling activities, irrespective of their hosting location.   

Majority of legislators support the bill  

During the assembly session, the majority of legislators expressed support for the bill.   

However, some raised queries regarding the necessity of extending pre-trial detention periods for gambling crimes and the implementation of undercover investigations by local authorities.   

In response, André Cheong Weng Chon, Macau’s Secretary for Administration and Justice, emphasized the importance of enhanced investigative measures endorsed by law enforcement agencies to effectively combat gambling-related offenses.   

The next step  

The bill will now undergo a thorough examination by one of the assembly’s working committees.   

Recommendations for revisions may be proposed, following which the bill will proceed to its second and final reading before the full assembly.  

SiGMA Africa – only two weeks away!  

With less than a month until the highly anticipated SiGMA Africa event kicks off in Cape Town, South Africa on the 11th of March, the gaming industry is abuzz with excitement. Building on the success of its inaugural edition in Nairobi, Kenya, in January 2023, SiGMA Africa is strategically positioning itself at the forefront of Africa’s burgeoning gaming landscape. With the continent’s market poised for exponential growth, driven by a rapidly evolving digital ecosystem and increasing mobile connectivity, SiGMA Group recognizes the need to foster collaboration and innovation within the industry. By bringing together leading stakeholders and visionaries in gaming, SiGMA aims to catalyse progress and propel Africa toward a new era of prosperity and opportunity. As the countdown to the event begins, anticipation mounts for what promises to be a landmark gathering of gaming enthusiasts and innovators in the vibrant city of Cape Town.

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