Union Gaming confirms easing visa rules via Macau

Casinos in Macau have been waiting patiently for well over a year until the government shows signs of easing its tough stance on anti-corruption and easing strict restrictions to encourage gamblers in mainland China to start visiting the country again.

Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd. recently announced that the government has gathered information from several local sources that it will change Macau’s transfer visa scheme and make it easier for tourists to enter the world’s largest gambling hub. Union Gaming said it expects the Macau government to announce these proposed changes to transit visa rules before the end of 2015.

In a note quoted by GGRAsia, Union Gaming analyst Grant Goverson said, “Those entering Macau for the purpose of transferring to a third country can stay for up to 14 days on the first Macao entry (from 7 days) during the given month, and then for up to 7 days on the second entry (from 2) during the same month.” 안전놀이터

The Macau government comes from the gambling industry for about 80 percent of its budget, and there have been concerns from many parties about how the government will make up for the deficit given the sharp and continuous decline in Macau casino revenues from casinos. A few weeks ago, the director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government of Macau, Li Gang, said the central government was in the process of rolling out new policies that were more favorable to the gaming industry, providing insight into what the central government had in mind.

Earlier this year, the Macau government eased restrictions on transfer visas for mainland Chinese residents and confirmed that from July 1, mainland residents can stay in Macau for up to seven days if they are allowed to leave for a third destination. Prior to the rule change, transfer visa restrictions limited mainland Chinese residents to five days in Macau.

Union Gaming said it initially believed the proposed changes would be made to the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS), which would allow residents on the mainland to visit Macau as independent travelers instead of having to be part of a travel group. Govtsen also said the new change could mean that the darkest days could now be behind Macau’s casinos as the government begins to take steps to arrest the declining casino industry.

Union Gaming believes the new relaxed transfer visa scheme will greatly benefit junket operators, who play a critical role in bringing VIP gamblers to Macau, and will also benefit mass market premium players to some extent.

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