Macau still remains one of the world’s foremost gambling venues outside the United States. The region benefits from a special exclusion rule from China’s onerous anti-gambling laws and it has been championing one of the most accomplished Responsible Gambling (RG) initiatives. But is the region’s handling of its business now risking to imperil all of this?

It was in September when Macau commemorated 10 years since its Gambling (RG) initiative had been introduced. Everyone had much to be happy about. Responsible Gambling has clearly turned out to be a successful way to keep vice at bay and allow gamers to enjoy some of the safest gaming facilities and regulation around the world.

It was Davis Fong, from the Institute of Study of Commercial Gaming of the Macau University (ISCG) who extolled the virtues of the program and noted its successes. Not only was Mr. Fong confident of the good that had been done, but did he also predict an even further development.

The initiative saw the light of day back in 2008 and it has been notching up one achievement after the next. The former Chief Executive of ISGC, Dr Edmund even then said that his government was quite prepared to build a common framework that will allow business and regulators to follow through with what the best practices for their customers and operations were.

Responsible Gambling Works and Pays Off

According to the Responsible Gambling Awareness Survey carried out by ISCG back in December 2017, awareness in Macau rose to 63.7% insofar as the safest and most reliable gambling practices were concerned. The reported numbers were indeed a sufficient reason to enjoy success.

Raising awareness by nearly 50% has been quite indicatory of the successes Macau has achieved in building a healthy society and instilling the best gaming practices in everyone.

However, this may be coming to an end with a voted ban for the full restriction of gaming concessionaires’ workers. In other words, if you are a staff member and involved in the casino in any way – from being a croupier at a table to a security guard, you will be banned from entering the facilities in out-of-work hours.

While this legislation is still just a suggestion ingloriously slogging its way through the Legislative Assembly, its implications may be very significant and indeed quite in line with what China exercise when it comes to restricting its own gambling operators.

Don’t Gamble Away a Bright Future

The best advice that business can give its government is not to gamble away what the work of eight years. By restricting gaming unnecessarily, Macau’s government invites unsavory practices that may catch up with the industry, sooner than later.

Issuing arbitrary legislation can only undermine the efforts that have been achieved over the recent years. Of course, there’s no direct correlation between gambling responsibly and picking groups of people and banning those from the premises of casinos.

However, this invites an automatic defiance on the part of hundreds of thousands of people who may be actively involved with the day-to-day operations of casinos, and this in itself is a problem as the new law threatens to create more ills than it promises to solve .