The Macau Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau (DICJ) is reportedly going to increase the number of inspectors to regulate the gaming properties in the world’s richest casino hub. The Executive Council of Macau recently approved an amendment designed to allocate more funding to DICJ and improve its operational structure. The change will take effect in the near future.
The revision will reportedly more than double the number of gaming inspectors with DICJ, from 192 currently to 459 in the near future. However, there is no official word as to exactly when the new positions will be fulfilled. Deployment of more inspectors means that DICJ will have more overseers to conduct spot checks casinos to help the bureau oversee their operations more efficiently.
The DICJ is responsible for regulating the Chinese special administrative region’s (SAR’s) six licensed commercial casino operators. The number seems to be small, but the only six operators operate more than forty full-fledged casinos.
The agency’s official; website reads, “The responsibilities of the DICJ include examining, supervising, and monitoring the activities of the concessionaires, especially on their compliance with the legal, statutory and contractual obligations.”
The gambling hub of Macau hit its all-time high gross gaming revenue (GGR) mark in 2013, when its gambling properties generated more than $45 billion in revenue. The enclave’s annual win has since fallen because of strict regulations regarding moving money from mainland China to Macau. In 2019, the SAR’s casinos won $36.5 billion. In 2020, the onset of COVID-19 forced authorities to issue closure orders for the gaming properties. Even after their reopening, the gaming properties have been struggling to swing back to their pre-pandemic GGRs as many restrictions are still in effect. Moreover, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that his government would take steps to prevent cross-border flow of money for gaming purposes.
It is also interesting to note here that all types of gambling is illegal in mainland China; but Macau, a SAR of China, is the world’s largest as well as richest gaming hub in the entire world. Unlike Hong Kong, Macau remains in the good graces of mainland China authorities. Both Macau and Hong Kong governments have been provided with autonomy under China’s “one country, two systems” policy. China is responsible for providing defense and foreign affairs for the SARs but the regions are otherwise free of Beijing’s strict rules.