Macau Law Would Exempt Illegal Gambling Snitches from Prosecution

Macau would exempt minor gambling offenders from prosecution if they provide evidence against others. As per the revolutionary new law, the special administrative region would send such informants away with a pat on the shoulder or at least a reduced fine.

The new law aligns with Macau’s ambition to prevent illegal gambling and crack down on unlicensed operations. It was revealed on Friday and has secured final approval from the Legislative Assembly. Additionally, Chan Chak Mo, chair of the subcommittee that evaluated the law, fixed wording that could have caused issues.

Under the new law, for example, gambling operations should not be carried out in public places. However, Chan Chak Mo clarified that a wide variety of locations would be considered β€œpublic places.” Offenders would risk fines of roughly $190-$620 (converted to USD).

According to the new law, anyone who has been found guilty of playing at such a venue would be considered an offender. However, if a person provides evidence that allows authorities to arrest other suspects or the operation’s chief, they would be granted immunity or at least have their penalty reduced.

Macau Is Bullish on Eliminating Illegal Gambling

In addition to exempting whistleblowers from penalties, the new law would allow authorities to search the property of potential witnesses or suspects during the night. Since many illegal gambling operations operate at nighttime, the provision would make it easier to weed out more unlicensed wagering operations. Β 

Additionally, Macau would need to amend its Criminal Procedure Code before implementing its extension of detention measure. According to Chan Chak Mo, only offenses punishable by 8 or more years of jail time would be subject to an extension of detention.

This matter was raised after Alvin Chau, the chairman of the controversial Suncity junket tried to argue that the detention period of certain individuals in the Suncity case had already expired. His pleas were ignored and his detention was extended.

In the meantime, Macau’s gambling industry continues to recover, underpinned by the strong performance of the mass market segment. The gambling hub’s industry was badly hurt by the pandemic, sparking concerns about its potential recovery.

In other news, Macau recently bid farewell to horse racing. The Macau Jockey Club hosted its final horse races on Saturday, March 30.