Chinese Government Card Swipe Crackdown Hits Macau

Gambling funds obtained through illicit card-swiping in Macau are estimated to 12 per cent of mass market turnover. (Image: wikipedia.org/Brenden Brain)

The consequence of China’s imminent crackdown on the use of hand-held card swipers is being felt in Macau, with the Wynn Macau witnessing its biggest market decline since October 2011.

Macau’s casino economy has soared on the last couple of years, so much so that it now eclipses nevada since the gambling capital of the world, however the Chinese government’s sudden enforcement of a ban on unlawful cash transfers has investors worried; Wynn Resorts Ltd. fell recently to 8.5 percent at the close in Hong Kong trading, while MGM China Holdings Ltd. dropped 8.2 % for the period that is same. The Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., meanwhile, fell 7.6 percent, while Sands Asia Ltd. dropped 4.6 per cent, and SJM Holdings Ltd., 6.6 per cent.

Visitors to Macau from the mainland are permitted to bring no more than 20,000 yuan ($3,200) into the gambling hub and may just withdraw 10,000 yuan per day, per card, from money devices. To swerve the restrictions, tourists are able to buy goods from local pawn shops making use of their debit cards and then trade them for regional currency with the same pawnbroker.

Illegal Card-Swiping Amounts to $6 Billion

However, the increasing usage of card-swiping machines in casinos has maybe not only caused a slump in Macau’s pawnbroking industry, but Continue reading →