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Macanese Casino and Card Room Gaming

Gambling in Macau has existed in one form or another for over 300 years. Initially, gambling was not regulated. Casinos and gambling halls were operated by bankers and catered mostly to sailors and workers. Gambling was legalized in 1847 by Macau’s Portuguese colonial government. In 1930, the gambling industry was monopolized, with the operation of all casinos awarded to the Hou Heng Company.

The casino monopoly ended after the handover of Macau back to China in 1999. The Legislative Assembly passed the Legal Framework for the Operations of Casino Games of Fortune Act in 2001, which opened up the gambling market to competition when it went into effect in 2002. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) regulates casino operations in Macau. In addition to major casino developments, small slot lounges are also allowed.

A pivotal decision by the Macau government in 2002 ended the 40-year monopoly of Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM) on casino operations by granting three new licenses and triggered the development boom in Macau. Two of the licenses went to new players, Wynn Resorts from Las Vegas and Galaxy Consortium, controlled by the Hong Kong group K. Wah. Several sub-concessions were also issued, including one to Las Vegas Sands. Macau is now home to more than 30 casinos.

In 2012, Macau began enforcing regulations that raised the legal gambling age from 18 to 21. Underage gamblers as well as casino operators can be fined for failing to comply. Macau casinos also began honoring self-exclusion agreements for problem gamblers in 2012.

Macau has also moved to remove slot parlors from densely populated areas. According to new regulations promulgated in 2012, slot parlors must now be located in luxury hotels or within 500 meters of a casino.

A partial smoking ban in casinos was implemented in 2013. A full gaming floor smoking ban went into effect in 2014.

In February 2008, the Macau government issued rules and guidelines approving the poker variation Texas Hold’em. The guidelines allowed the house to collect a commission of 3-5% on the betting pool of each game.

Macanese Casino and Card Room Gaming Properties

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