1

Macao mulls raising casino entry age-limit to 21

The government of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) is considering tightening the age-limit for people who enter local casinos, raising it from 18 to 21,according to a press statement released on Wednesday by the SAR’s Information Bureau.

The SAR government is concerned about the issues of local youths and casino staff gambling in local casinos, the statement quoted the SAR’s Secretary for Administration and Justice, Florinda da Rosa Silva Chan, as saying, who was addressing a written question from a local lawmaker.

Due to the fact that gaming industry is the staple of Macao’s economy, all walks of the local society are under the influence of gaming, and more and more cases concerning problem gambling of young casino employees were reported recently, said Leong Heng Teng, a member of the SAR’s Legislative Assembly, in his written question to the government.

Currently, Macao, the only place in China where gambling is legal, has 31 casinos, which employed over 36,000 locals, and gaming tax contributes a lion’s share of the SAR government’s total tax income.

Compared with Las Vegas, which bans minors under the age of 21 from gambling in casinos, Macao only set an entry age limit of 18.

Previously local gaming magnet Stanley Ho, whose company runs 19 casinos in Macao, reportedly said he agreed to the proposal of raising the age limit from 18 to 21, which will help keep the young people more focused on their learning at school.