A leading Macau gaming lawyer has called on the Macau government to embrace new technologies and the rapidly growing online gaming space or risk being left behind by more savvy jurisdictions such as Japan.
Jose Alvares, a Partner at Macau’s CA Lawyers, says that a widespread reluctance by Macau officials to embrace innovation will eventually limit the industry’s capacity for growth – calling instead for the SAR to invest in more training and education around the opportunities that exist.
“Macau has a need to be willing to be on the frontline of gaming innovation,” Alvares said during a panel discussion at the Sina Global Digital Entertainment Summit 2018 at MGS on Thursday.
“That means we need education, training, sending people to the US to study and learn more about these new technologies.
“At the moment there is fear in Macau about innovation, online gaming, blockchain and all of these emerging industries. The government takes a negative view of blockchain but the headlines they refer to are all about scams. The actual blockchain technology is a proven technology.
“We need to embrace these concepts or in the future we will lose to countries like Japan who will have no hesitation in opening their arms to the opportunities.”
Speaking on the same panel, Galaxy Macau’s VP Innovation Gaming Development & Optimization Service, Nelson Cheung, said the company was currently looking at how to merge online and land-based gaming but added, “Due to the restrictions currently in place there are limitations on what we can do.”
Nevertheless, Cheung said it would be ignorant for Macau’s operators to ignore the online gaming space.
“The question for us is how do we merge the land-based player with the online player,” he said. “Everyone has a mobile phone now so if we could somehow tap into that, our gaming market would become much bigger.”