Date
18 August 2017
Macau casinos allow phone betting but they could be in breach of regulations that prohibit the broadcast of plays and results. Photo: Bloomberg
Macau casinos allow phone betting but they could be in breach of regulations that prohibit the broadcast of plays and results. Photo: Bloomberg

Macau casinos allow mainland high rollers to bet by phone

Casino operators in Macau have been allowing Chinese high rollers to bet by phone since the Macau government cut mainland tourist arrivals as part of an anti-money laundering campaign.

Phone betting accounts for 10 percent of Macau’s gaming revenue, hiting US$3 billion last year, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday, citing Tony Tong, an adviser with Pacific Financial Services. 

The scheme allows mainland gamers with VIP accounts to phone in bets while waiting for their next visa. The minimum roll is HK$3 million (US$387,000), the report said.

The practice, also known as proxy betting or remote betting, could be in breach of Macau’s gaming regulations which prohibit the broadcast of casino plays and results, it said.

The Philippines, which relies on the casino business as a new economic driver, has legalized remote betting in some casinos including Solaire Manila, an integrated resort and casino complex.

Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (06883.HK), a listed Macau gaming company which also operates a casino in the Philippines, could benefit from legalized remote betting.

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