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UPDATED: 15:37, June 08, 2004
Macao to tighten control of slot-machine business
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The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government has planned to tighten the control of the booming market of the slot-machine business, said a senior gaming regulatory official.

Manuel Joaquim das Neves, director of the Macao Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said that the bureau was working on a specified legalization to strengthen the supervision of casino operators' slotting business to counter the changes in the structure of the gaming industry, according to a Macao Daily report on Tuesday.

With the newly opening of the first American casino, the Las Vegas Sands or Golden Sands in the literal translation of its Chinese name, an air of Las Vegas has been brought to Macao, whichsharply increased the share of slot machines in the gambling business.

The Sands offers over 400 slot machines in the main lobby upon its opening in May, which has become the first foreign casino in Macao. The local gaming magnet, the Macao Gaming Co. Ltd., which owned all the other 12 casinos in Macao, soon reacted to open three slot-machine outlets.

Neves said that as a new competition in the slotting business is emerging, the gaming regulatory authority will not issue new individual licenses on the slot-machine business. It will specify the concerned laws and regulations referring to similar terms in the United States and Australia.

Contrary to Las Vegas, slot machines estimated at some 1,500 inMacao only contributed a small part of the gaming turnover in Macao. Some casino insiders held that the importance of the business had been under-estimated by the local gaming company. Theconcerned laws and regulations are loose and outdated.

Dubbed as "tiger machines" in Macao, glamouring slot machines enhance the exhilarating air in casinos and are easy to manage through computer networks. The low-cost machines are, especially welcomed by tourists and new-comers to the casino city.

Macao is the only place in China, where gambling is legal. The 26.8 square kilometers of land host over 11 million visitors last year.

Source: Xinhua

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