Chinese government wants to “clean up the casino industry

It’s been nearly a decade since Macau’s casinos surpassed those of Las Vegas in terms of revenue and attractiveness. However, the many Chinese and Hong Kong entrepreneurs who have set up shop in the small enclave of just 118 square kilometers to operate casinos and brothels will soon face a major setback! Indeed, Beijing is determined to “clean up the entire casino industry” because of Macau’s decadent reputation. Will the peninsula on the edge of China have the strength and resources to rebound?

Macau in the sights of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his government

Nothing goes anymore for Macau’s casinos! Two years after the Covid-19 pandemic, the drastic measures taken by Beijing have kept players and tourists alike away. In addition, the existing operators, who have already disbursed nearly 6 million dollars to extend their concessions until the end of the current calendar year, are struggling to meet their financial targets. Yet Macau’s gambling establishments will have to renew themselves, one way or another.

Indeed, the central government is deeply interested in to reform the casino sector in Macau. According to Sonny Lo, a journalist for the Japanese business daily Nikkei Asia, ” Beijing to clean up all gambling houses in Macau “. It must be said that President Xi Jinping has identified gambling as a major artery for money laundering and capital flight by the wealthiest Chinese. The Communist Party also wants to rid Macau of its reputation as a sulphurous and decadent city.

Recall that on the twentieth anniversary of the handover of Macau to China in 2019, President Xi Jinping had visited the new world capital of the game. In his public speech at the time, the Chinese head of state stressed the need for Macao to diversify its economy in a way that would “…help the economy to grow and prosper. appropriate “. Local casino operators have probably gotten the message: they will have to undergo major transformations if they want to remain viable in the near future.

New gaming legislation, strengthening Macau’s Chinese identity

Earlier this year, the Chinese government announced new gaming legislation. The casino sector in Macau will be more strictly controlled, the license period for dealers will be halved, and new rules will apply to travel to and from Macau from China.

According to Nikkei AsiaWhile the six licensees in Macau – including Sands China, Wynn Macau and MGM China – are publicly enthusiastic about the new regulations, there is a lot of nervousness behind the scenes. After all, all of these operators, including US giant Las Vegas Sands, have invested heavily in Macau.

In any case, Sonny Lo says that the will of the Chinese government is to make the Macau peninsula ” more Chinese “than it is at present. Indeed, the objective would be to integrate Macau into a socio-economic territory in which Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Zhuhai are already part, which is called “Greater Bay Area”. Eventually, casino games should gradually be replaced by shopping malls, Michelin-starred restaurants and more conventional tourist attractions.

Kayleigh Williams