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Chinese Government Card Swipe Crackdown Hits Macau

Gambling funds obtained through illicit card-swiping in Macau are estimated to 12 per cent of mass market turnover. (Image: wikipedia.org/Brenden Brain)

The effect of China’s imminent crackdown on the use of hand-held card swipers is being felt in Macau, with the Wynn Macau witnessing its market decline that is biggest since October 2011.

Macau’s casino economy has soared throughout the last few years, so much so that it now eclipses vegas while the gambling capital of the world, but the Chinese government’s unexpected enforcement of a ban on illegal cash transfers has investors worried; Wynn Resorts Ltd. fell recently to 8.5 percent during the close in Hong Kong trading, while MGM Asia Holdings Ltd. dropped 8.2 percent for the period that is same. The Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., meanwhile, fell 7.6 percent, while Sands Asia Ltd. dropped 4.6 percent, and SJM Holdings Ltd., 6.6 percent.

People to Macau from the mainland are permitted to bring a maximum of 20,000 yuan ($3,200) into the gambling hub and might only withdraw 10,000 yuan per time, per card, from cash machines. To swerve the restrictions, tourists are able to purchase goods from local pawn shops making use of their debit cards and then trade them for local currency with the exact same pawnbroker.

Illegal Card-Swiping Amounts to $6 Billion

However, the increasing use of card-swiping machines in casinos has not only caused a slump in Macau’s pawnbroking in (mais…)

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