The man who oversaw the implementation of Macau’s first responsible gaming model has described reaching 10 years of responsible gaming promotions as a “very important landmark” for the city.
Speaking to Inside Asian Gaming at the 10th anniversary ceremony – which was also attended by DICJ Director Paulo Martins Chan and representatives of all six concessionaires – at the University of Macau on Wednesday, Professor Davis Fong said that Asia’s gaming hub had made incredible progress in its responsible gaming initiatives since launching in 2009, with the seed now planted to target a wider audience of players.
“We developed the model that the government accepted and starting from 2009 we started to promote responsible gambling, so today I am very happy because I treat this anniversary of the first 10 years as a very important landmark,” he said.
“At the same time, we have a Chinese saying, ‘It takes 10 years for trees to grow and 100 years for people to grow.’ From our perspective, it means today we have 10 years’ experience – just long enough for the tree to grow – but for people and society we need to continue our efforts to promote responsible gambling. We hope responsible gambling becomes the root of Macau society.”
Wednesday’s ceremony marked the start of a new three-month campaign through the end of December targeting mainland visitors to Macau.
Professor Fong, the Director of the Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming and Associate Professor of the International Integrated Resort Management Program at the University of Macau, said that helping tourists who may need assistance in fighting gambling addiction was now a key focus of the government.
“We have gained experience over the past 10 years so we have a little bit of confidence in promoting responsible gambling not just for Macau people but also for the tourists who are coming from outside,” he explained.
“Starting from 2017, the government decided to target responsible gambling to tourists so we have put some resources not just in Macau but also near the Gongbei border gate – there is a very big sign we put there for three months every year.
“Starting from today you can go to Gongbei customs and there is a very big billboard there, because we really need to really take care of the tourists.”