Soon, casinos in Macau will face an unprecedented piece of legislation.
Local regulators will make players screens of electronic table games (ETGs) in the autonomous region on the south coast of China subject to the same requirements that apply to the slot machines in Macau. Under the law, by the end of 2024, ETGs screens will be required to get clocks to warn players about the time they have spent on the device.
The information was confirmed by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), which is the casino regulatory body of Macau. The regulator shared that under the provisions of Instruction No.1/2021, the implementation timetable for the electronic table games in terms of the clock feature is the same as the one for slot machines.
Back in September, the gambling watchdog announced that by the end of 2024, all player screens on casino slot machines in Macau are required to be equipped with an intermittently flashing clock that displays the local time. The clocks will have a 12-hour format and will flash on at the start of every playing session. After that, they will flash the time every 10 minutes during the playing session to remind gamblers how much time they spend on the machines. The instruction was based on the Macau EGM Technical Standards 2.0, which was officially issued earlier in 2021.
As explained by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the previous version of the ETG Technical Standards required electronic table games to comply with the same technical rules as casino slot machines.
Macau Gambling Regulator Aims at Tackling Problem Gambling
The local authorities have announced they will give electronic gaming machines’ manufacturers a transition period in which they will have to make the necessary adjustments to the games’ software in order to comply with the new requirements. Local regulators will make sure that all new machines provided for the region’s gambling market are in line with the new requirement that would be considered as standard in the machines, no matter if it comes to casino slot machines or ETGs.
Under the rules, gaming machines in Macau are not allowed to feature any buttons or touchpoints affecting the gameplay. This means that casino players will not be able to interfere with the clock in any way to stop it or modify it.
The autonomous region of Macau has established the rule regarding the clock warnings on electronic table games as part of the most recent update of the gambling regulations of the city. The new clock feature that has to be displayed on the ETGs’ screens has come as part of the local authorities’ efforts to tackle problem gambling at Macau casinos.
In June 2021, there were 9,871 slot machines in operation across the Macau casinos, with electronic table game machines also included in that figure.
As mentioned above, the 2.0 version of the Macau EGM Technical Standards came into effect on September 1st, 2021. The implementation of the new regulations has come at a time when the city’s gambling regulatory body is trying to reduce the potential for problem gambling in the city. Macau authorities’ decision for the change might come as a result of either direct or indirect influence from mainland China that has been imposing strict rules aimed at keeping gambling away from the country’s borders.