Proxy betting is no longer permitted in the VIP areas of Macau casinos as of this week. It’s another sign of the pressure on high-end casino business at a time when the government is encouraging operators to look a bit Disneyland.
The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau says that only gamblers who are physically present in the casinos are permitted to put a bet on the table. A news story from Macau said the change in rules was announced Monday.
The impact of this change is difficult to assess but officials at MGM and Wynn Resorts said during conference calls last week that the impact would be minimal, whatever that means.
Macau casinos have been distancing themselves from junket-driven VIP players as the government continues pushing its anti-corruption drive, which has caused many high-end players to keep their distance from Macau. There are also continuing efforts to emphasize the importance efforts to minimize money laundering.
The government is expected to make announcements this week about its conclusions about how well casinos are paying attention to the mid-term reviews of resort activity and the response of companies to its myriad suggestions.
There’s been increased stress on so-called mass market customers as casinos have responded to government pressure that has them striving to generate more non-gaming revenue.
The know-your-customer protocol that has the Sands China company banning electronic devices at its Macau gaming tables is similar to the pressure American casinos are getting from the Treasury Department, which has mandated that they should use their customer tracking technology to know the likely source of a gambler’s income.
Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: .