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Casino Operators in Macau Could Participate in Pilot Programs to Test the New Chinese Digital Currency

The Chinese Government has unveiled plans to implement the digital yuan, which is its central bank digital currency (CBDC). So far, it has already given the start of some pilot programs to test the CBDC ability and, according to reports, massive changes could be on their way for the country’s economy, including the gambling sector in Macau.

Currently, the special administrative region of Macau is making preparations to introduce new gambling laws and licenses, so Chinese regulators are expected to make everything possible to use the chance and get the most of the changes that affect casino operators in Macau. Reuters reported that they are likely to forcibly make Macau’s casino companies become guinea pigs and test the digital yuan in the region, which is currently one of the biggest, if not the largest, gaming hubs on a global scale. This idea was first unveiled early in 2021 and the country’s authorities seem to be willing to test it now.

This basically means that casino operators such as Wynn Macau and Sands China would be forced to participate in the digital yuan testing in case they want to remain in the casino market of Macau, which is currently worth about $37 billion. A consultation paper regarding the reading process unveiled by the Government includes various ideas for the process, including the appointment of government officials to oversee daily operations.

China’s CBDB Could Be Used to Fight Crime and Cross-Border Payment Issues

According to the central bank governor, Yi Gang, the newly created central bank digital currency of China could be used to combat various criminal activities and solve complex cross-border problems associated with payments. Some analysts believe he might have had Macau in his thoughts saying that.

The Chinese Government has never concealed its willingness to get greater control over cash flows and customers in the country by the implementation of digital payments to the gaming hub of Macau. Currently, the special administrative region has its own financial sub-ecosystem, which makes it the perfect location to test the new digital currency technology before it is officially rolled out in China mainland. Previously, the gambling regulatory body of Macau has asserted that digital yuan gaming options would not be available in the special administrative region but it now seems things are about to change.

Reuters has revealed that the Chinese central bank digital currency is already in use and some pilot programs have already registered local customers spending digital currency worth about $10 billion.

As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, the implementation of CBDC could be devastating for so-called junket operators that have been operating in Macau for years, helping casino companies attract high-roller customers to their services in the local gambling hub. However, junket operators, also known as “junkets” have been struggling following the decision of the Chinese Government to categorize the cross-border gambling funds flow as a risk for national security in June 2020. Since then, the country has decided to cut off some shady financing channels that have been used by Macau’s junket sector and the online gambling industry.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.