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Macau to classify mutuum by shops in casinos as lending for gambling purposes

February 20, 2024 Macau Crime & LegaliGaming & Gambling

The “Law to Combat Illegal Gambling Crimes,” a new proposal proposed in Macau, classifies casino shop mutuum loans as gambling. Giving money or resources for gambling with the intention of making money for oneself or another person is illegal lending, and it carries a one-to five-year prison sentence.

The proposal specifically targets “consumer lending (mutuum),” which is defined as loans made available inside casinos for the purpose of gambling. In terms of lending, ancillary facilities that are used for gaming, as well as those associated with the arts, culture, leisure, and business, or those situated close to hotels, are regarded as a component of the casino ecosystem.

Borrowers won’t be penalized, however. Through a consumer loan agreement called a mutuum, one person loans another person money or substitutes, who in turn returns goods of the same kind and caliber. Usually, the lender makes money by gambling or by charging fees or interest.

Targeting internet gambling as well, the law states that operating, promoting, or arranging online or mutual betting in Macau without the necessary license carries a one-to eight-year jail sentence. No matter where computer systems, installations, or other equipment, including server sites, are located, this provision still applies.

Online gaming companies must implement geoblocking in Macau as a result of this new rule.

President Cheong Weng Chon emphasized at December Executive Council sessions that opening an account with an online gaming firm is not subject to legal restrictions. Rather, the laws control how online gambling and mutual betting are organized, run, and advertised. This regulation does not apply to foreign businesses that do not conduct these activities in Macau.

Original story by: IAG

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