Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) says it has not authorized the operations of any online lotteries in Macau after rumors emerged that a so-called “Macau Mark Six” was set to launch.
According to various social media posts doing the rounds late last week, the Macau SAR Government was said to be considering a Mark Six lottery as a means of boosting revenue in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen casino revenues fall by more than 90% for each of the past five months.
Hong Kong’s popular Mark Six lottery, run by Hong Kong Jockey Club, generated turnover of HK$5.1 billion (US$658 million) in the year ended 30 June 2020, despite suffering a 39% year-on-year decline due to its temporary suspension during the pandemic.
On Friday, the DICJ said there was no truth to any suggestions it was planning to launch its own Mark Six, adding that it had reported the case to the Judiciary Police.
The regulator emphasized that all online gaming activities or “Macau Mark Six” websites claiming to operate on behalf of the Macau government were fake and illegal.
Online gambling remains off limits in Macau, with the exception of the SAR’s sole licensed sports betting operator, Macau Slot Co Ltd, which offers betting on basketball and football only.
In a reply to inquiries about the potential for online gaming in Macau, the DICJ told Inside Asian Gaming in June, “The government would listen to any suggestions that would help the development of the industry. However, due to the risks of gambling through the internet or telephone, the government must carefully study the judgment.”