Macau Gambling – Law, Legality & Games

Macau is a small region within China but it’s a big name in the gambling industry. Macau is the only place in China where casinos are legal and besides its size, the region has become known to the world as the “Monte Carlo of the East”. The country’s gambling revenue managed to surpass that of Las Vegas in 2007. This means that the region takes to gambling seriously, so seriously that 50% of the country’s economy is based on gambling. With that in mind, it’s evident that many forms of gambling are popular in the region and that Macau people love to gamble.

Is Gambling Legal in Macau?

If a country is known as “the Monte Carlo of the East” then it’s clear that gambling is legal in Macau . In fact, gambling has been legal in the country since the 1850s. With this information in mind, anyone can see that the country is reaping the economic benefits of gambling. Citizens of this region aren’t the only ones that indulge in gambling activities as it is a popular destination from the surrounding countries as well as tourists from all around the world.  


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Gambling Types Accepted in Macau

Since gambling is one of the most popular pastimes in the region there are many ways people can gamble. One of the oldest forms of gambling is betting on horse and greyhound races and they’re available in the region. The Macanese are also fond of sports so they place bets on sports events and cricket betting sites. As is the case with most European, the lottery and bingo are also legal in the region. There are plenty of land-based casinos that offer a plethora of games to their customers.

The games offered at these establishments are poker and other various table games and slot machines. When it comes to poker the versions offered include 3 and 5 card poker, football, q, stud, fortune 3 card, TexasHoldem and Omaha poker. Other games legal in the regions include variants of popular baccarat, craps, blackjack, and roulette as well as traditional Chinese games like mahjong, paikao, pachinko, dragon/phoenix, and others. Since all these gambling activities are legal on land they are also provided by online gambling operators but only on paper.   

Minimum Age for Legal Gambling in Macau

Despite such a vast array of gambling forms available, the government of the region makes sure that all the establishments abide by the rules and regulations established through the laws. Naturally, regulatory bodies are established to enforce these regulations and watch out for irregularities. According to these laws, the legal gambling age for the region of Macau is 21 years old. This means that anyone under this age isn’t allowed to enter or be employed into a land-based gambling establishment and that these premises are responsible for identity checks. The documents that are deemed credible by the authorities are IDs, passports or Hong Kong identity cards. The legal gambling age applies for the online gambling services as well.   

Gambling Laws for Gamblers and Operators in Macau

As mentioned before the land-based gambling establishments as well as the gambling websites are subject to many regulations and must abide by them or face the legal repercussions that follow. For any operator to provide gambling services on the territory of Macau they have to obtain a license. These licenses have to be obtained from the government of the region since it has total control over the ambling activities. The licenses serve as concessions for commercial operation of casino games and they can be obtained by stock joint companies that have been incorporated under the laws of Macau, and at least 10% of the registered share capital of a casino sub-concessionaire and a casino concessionaire has to be held by the managing director, who also needs to be a permanent resident of the region. The license can last for a maximum period of 20 years and can be extended for 5 years, multiple times. The cost of the license varies during the duration period.

When it comes to online gambling services the situation is a weird one since the commercial operation of online games can only be granted to privately owned entities that have been approved a concession specifically for those purposes. This is what the law states regarding interactive games however the Macau government hasn’t approved a license to any gambling establishments to no operator is allowed to provide these services.

Since the gambling activities of all gambling establishments are subjected to strict regulation they also pay a heavy tax for their services. First, they’re taxed on their gross gaming revenue with a 35% tax rate and they also pay two types of contributions. The first one is a contribution to the Macau Foundation which promotes the scientific, cultural, economic, social and educational development of the region and the second one is a contribution to the promotion of tourism, social security, and urban development. In addition to these contributions, the concessionaires of the casino also pay an additional concession premium per year. With such a big financial burden on the gambling establishments, it’s clear why the players aren’t subject to any kind of taxes for their winnings. Furthermore, there’s no limit to the amount of money that can be brought in and out of the region.  

Gambling Commissions for Macau          

The strict rules and regulations of the laws of the Macau government need to be executed by the gambling establishments and their enforcing is the job of the regulatory bodies. The DICJ is the regulatory body with the most responsibilities. Its job is to license gaming systems, machines, promoters, and gaming equipment manufacturers, to oversee the activities of the gaming equipment manufacturers, gaming promoters and the gaming concessionaires as well as monitor their financial capacity and suitability. When it comes to determining the gambling policy the Macau Chief Executive of the government is solely responsible for that purpose along with the regulation and license provision of casino games of games and other gambling activities in the region.

Gambling Games Legal Status in Macau :

Poker: – Online poker is not regulating in Macau. Poker is also a relatively popular and innovative item. Players who want to play poker online for money and play poker in online offshore casinos.

Bingo: – Bingo is not regulated in Macau. Players who want to play bingo play their favorite games in offshore casinos.

Lottery: – Lottery is not regulated in Macau. Lottery can be played online too in online offshore casinos.

Sports betting: – Betting is regularly held in Macau, mainly in horse racing and dog racing. Macau has not been regulated for sports betting. Nevertheless, Macau players are accepted to place bets on many online bookies.