Macau, the Chinese city that recently surpassed Las Vegas as the world's biggest gambling market, could be answering the cry of online operators for licensing jurisdiction in the country.
Government gaming commission advisors made a series of remote-licensing proposals during the annual Pacific Congress on I-Gaming in Macau Feb. 26-27. The event featured interactive gaming industry speakers and opportunities to network with other operators looking to tap into Asia's burgeoning market.
The announcement stirred up discussion about the possibility of Internet gambling regulation in the region.
In order to open up the market, legislative changes would be necessary.
The framework is being constructed, said one advisor, but under the terms of a 2001 law, online gambling is forbidden in Macau with the exception of Internet and telephone racing bets.
The country is to review the gambling laws for six months starting in March.
Despite the announcement and review, government advisors warned those at the conference that the proposals were only recommendations and that the government may not choose to act on them.
If it were, remote gambling operators would have to meet suitability, technical aptitude and financial capacity requirements before receiving what would likely be a five-year license.