Macau Authorities Continue To Monitor Mainland Officials Entering Casinos
The crackdown on corruption in Macau by the Chinese over the last few years has taken many by surprise. If at first many thought it was a temporary measure aimed at placating the critics, it is now clear to all that the policy of changing Macau into a tourist destination that is not solely based on gambling is the reality that gaming companies have to work with.
While gaming revenues have been hit had in the last few years, there is a steady increase in revenues in the last 12 months which is ensuring the market stabilizes. One of the main “ victims’ of the crackdown were Chinese public officials who once treated Macau as their personal playground. In the last few years they have been extremely wary of big brother on Mainland China spying on them. This was confirmed recently at the National People’s Congress in Beijing where the Macau legislative Assembly president Ho lat Seng told reporters that any time a government official walked into a casino the Macau authorities “knew right away.”
Ho went on to say that some of these officials received a surprise call only seconds after entering a casino. In addition he said the Macau casino’s has “internal methods’ to identify who was a public official and who was not. These “internal methods” are set to the implementation of facial recognition technology which is already in use at Macau ATM’s to ensure anti money laundering by Chinese officials.
This latest revelation just reinforces the Chinese officials who have vowed not to go back to the “glory days” of Macau where as much as 57% of top spenders in casinos were public officials or senior managers at state firms.