The chairman of the second standing committee of the Legislative Assembly, Chan Chak Mo, has said that the concessionaires can open a “special account” for gaming customers, but such accounts cannot earn any interest.
After a three-month delay, the Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly resumed discussions regarding the Legal Framework for Operating Games of Chance in Casinos, better known as the Macau Junket Law, on Friday (12 August). The government has submitted an updated and revised text of the proposed law to the committee.
Committee Chairman Chan Chak Mo pointed out that the committee discussed the new text of Articles 1 to 14 on Friday. One of the most noteworthy features of the is the addition of provisions concerning concessionaires, with Chan stating that “the new text mentions that concessionaires can open a special account for gambling customers to keep their chips or cash, but cannot provide interest.”
“The account cannot offer interest like a bank because the government has to eliminate all illegal deposits and the account has to comply with money laundering regulations,” Chan said.
Regarding the question of time limits for the special accounts, Chan Chak Mo said, “The special account will not have a time limit. It is no problem for the customer to come eight years later or ten years later to withdraw their money, but the process must comply with money laundering laws.”
He noted that concessionaires have already opened special accounts for gambling customers, but the process for customers to open such accounts is not simple, and they must furnish a considerable amount of information, including source of funds.
Another change to the junket bill is a provision requiring that “the issuance or renewal of junket licenses to take into account the scale of the junket industry.”
In the new text, the word “renewal” has been removed, and replaced with “issuance.”
Chan Chak Mo said, “The reason for eliminating ‘renewal’ is that the size of the gaming junket industry was already considered when the license was originally issued, so the size of gaming junket industry should not be re-examined when the license is renewed.”
The bill provides that the number of gaming junket each year is set by the DICJ, but it is up to the concessionaires to decide how many junkets it will sign contracts with.