Macau Casino Shares Plummet Following Crackdown Talks

The shares casinos doing business in the world’s biggest gambling hub have lost as much as $18 billion in a few days’ time.  The reason? Speculations regarding China’s possible crackdown on the casino industry in Macau.

The story goes that Macau’s casino licenses are going to expire in 2022, with the gaming officials reportedly planning to strengthen the licensing conditions.

Macau Planning to Make Big Changes in Casino Licensing

The chaos on the stock market broke out after Macau’s secretary of economy Lei Wai Nong held a press conference detailing the plans regarding the casino industry in the autonomous territory.

He gave notice of a consultation period of 45 days, during which nine different subjects are going to be discussed, including things like the total number of re-issued casino licenses, employee welfare, and supervision of casino operations.

This isn’t going to be the first time the Macau authorities have increased their pressure on the gaming industry. In the past, we saw them dealing with the problem of illegal lending and unregulated money transfers.

This time, however, it seems that Macau regulators are clamping down harder on the entire casino business in the territory, including those businesses that are owned by foreign companies.

Shares of Vegas-Based Companies Shed 13% in Value

Macau is the world’s biggest casino hub in terms of revenue. Even in 2020, when Macau casinos stayed closed for several months, the territory still managed to generate decent gains.

Its 41 casinos generate revenue that’s several times higher than the one created by Las Vegas casinos, for example. Speaking of Vegas, many of Macau’s casinos are owned by companies based in Sin City.

Actually, out of the six licensed casino operators in Macau, three are owned by Vegas casino companies – Sands China, Wynn Macau, and MGM China Holdings.

The bad news for those companies is that their shares have plummeted following the Macau crackdown talks. In fact, it’s reported that their shares have lost about 13% of the value, losing roughly $18 billion along the way.

The good news, however, is that fluctuations in the stock market are relatively common, albeit not so drastically. Still, it’s expected that the stocks will recover their value, especially if casino operators find some common ground with Macau regulators.

Such a scenario, actually, seems very possible, considering that the casino industry has been Macau’s golden goose for years. In fact, being the only territory in China where gambling is legal, Macau relies heavily on this industry.

That said, losing multinational casino companies due to new regulations wouldn’t do anyone good. For that reason, a fair compromise between the two parties is expected.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

AGTech Holdings Adds Augmented Reality to State Lottery

  • AGTech Holdings to provide state lottery with augmented reality
  • The company expands across Asia
  • AGTech continues to innovate across the region

China has awarded AGTech Holdings a contract to deliver augmented reality (AG) products for the state’s sports lottery, the company has revealed.

AGTech Holdings to Introduce AG to China Sports Lottery

A tightly-regulated sports betting & gambling regulator, China is often one of the most innovative ones. While the country clamped down hard on illegal sports betting during the 2018 World Cup, China has been pushing ahead with technological innovation. One of the latest decisions was to award AGTech Holdings a contract to introduce Augmented Reality (AG).

The group made a statement explaining the goals for the company moving forward and working with the national lottery. AGTech Holdings will try and focus on:

  • Adding products that appeal to youths
  • Drive growth
  • Technological progress

AGTech refrained from releasing a detail breakdown of how the company intended to roll out the new product, with details coming further down the road. China remains one of the main bastions of AGTech. The company has been awarded other important contracts in the past.

In June, 2018, AGTech won a deal to install lottery terminals across multiple Chinese cities, including important populous centers, such s Shanghai, Guizhou and Hebei.

AGTech Pushing on All Fronts

AGTech’s successes are not limited to providing physical terminals and upping the ante for lotteries in terms of technological solutions. The company also entered into agreement with the Jiangsu Province Sports Lottery Administration Center.

As a result, AGTech’s will be in charge of promoting and marketing the lottery products. Jiangsu alone has posted over $3 million in terms of lottery sale in 2017, and the market has been growing. AGTech operates out of Hong Kong, which gives it some freedom to avoid mainland restrictions.

However, the company is owned by mainland giant Alibaba Holding and another company – Ant Financial. AGTech is also collaborating with an India-based company, Paytm Group, with the pair working on a new digital wallet, which would facilitate sports betting and payouts.

Meanwhile, the company remains at the forefront o technological innovation at home. On May 7, 2019, the company announced that it was working on a notarizable electronic lottery draw technology based on blockchain smart contract technology through a subsidiary. The company has won a tender to introduce the solution to the The China Welfare Lottery Issuance and Administration Center.

With the latest project, the scope of operation of AGTech Holdings has expanded quite significantly. The company has driven forays into AR, blockchain and smart contracts. Apart from providing terminals and physical hardware, AGTech is also now responsible for marketing certain of its products and helping partners gain momentum and better outreach.

In the meanwhile, the Chinese lottery continues to grow and it’s set to outpace all counterparts abroad in term of sheer total handle.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

China Clamps Down on Misleading Gambling Websites

  • Chinese authorities look into online websites providing misleading and harmful information
  • Certain news agencies have been sanctioned over “vulgar” content
  • In 2018, multiple companies, including Playtech and Tencent were affected by crackdowns on gambling products

China continues to monitor the Internet, with the country’s security departments now going after illegal gambling with renewed strength. What is the latest round of measures targeting specifically?

China Goes After Harmful Gambling Advertisement

China is going back after illegal gambling, this time targeting specific misleading sources of information, incentivizing individuals to gamble by providing misleading advertisement and more. Officially, China is looking to clamp down on “harmful” websites related to online gambling.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has announced that the next six months will be specifically dedicated to unearthing such sources of harmful information and closing them down, with Beijing’s security services looking to apprehend and mete out punishments to individuals who have been running them.

Australian Gambling Ban Could Encompass Streaming

Beijing is also expanding its reach in dictating what Chinese citizen can see online and what’s better left outside their browsing sessions. Gambling is not the only “harmful” content on the list of the cyber police. Materials that involve fraud, violence, abuse, rumors, threats, and even superstition will also come under the regulatory control of the government.

The cyberspace has long been a sensitive topic for China with the CAC now looking to regulate individual websites and mobile apps and check whether they have been complying in full with the necessary round of regulations.

The police will expand its search for misleading information on online streaming platforms, messaging services, and even look into school students exchanging notes during classes. The intrusive nature of China’s authorities is technically the norm in the country.

Commemorating Tiananmen with Extension of the Police State

The six-month monitoring period expands well after the crushing of the Tiananmen protest’s 30th anniversary, when Chinese dissidents challenged the government over issues of personal freedoms. Needless to say, Chinese censors have been actively looking to uproot any mention of the so-called June 4th accident, which never occurred in Chinese living memory.

The clamp down on misleading information has been quite pronounced. Apart from hunting down websites incentivizing individuals to gamble and place sports wagers, China has just rocked two of its largest online internet agencies (and companies) Baidu and Sohu with bans on their news portals.

The temporary ban affected the news portals for a period of one week, with the government citing an inability to keep the websites free of vulgar content as the sole reason for the decision. China has been actively seeking to limit the gambling industry as well, although Macau has remained largely beyond the restrictive reach of the country.

Well-established companies, such as Tencent and Playtech have been affected by the government’s previous attempts to narrow the scope of the industry. In the case of Tencent, the company was ordered to phase out some of its most lucrative video poker games, biting seriously into the revenues of the company.

Nevertheless, Tencent kept silent on the matter, saying that the company was re-ordering its portfolio and priorities.

Sophia Rojas

Growing up around law firms, Sophia keeps our team of reporters atop any legislative developments to follow up with a welcomed dose of positive news as our house trivia nut!