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Macau legislators nod first reading of illegal gaming bill

Members of Macau’s Legislative Assembly approved on Wednesday the first reading of the draft “Law to Combat Gambling Crimes”, which has been presented by the city’s authorities as a contribution toward minimising the gaming industry’s exposure to criminal influence.

A total of 29 legislators voted in favour of the government-backed proposal.

The bill is an update to the city’s existing Illegal Gambling Regime, known as Law No.8/96/M, which as the title suggests, is nearly 30 years old.

A number of gaming lawyers has told GGRAsia that some clarifications would be helpful in order to asses the likely efficacy and overall intent of the draft bill.

A key component of the local government’s legal proposal is to increase maximum jail sentences and the permitted duration of what is termed as “preventive detention” in relation to gambling crimes, including the practice of under-the-table betting via the “multiplier”.

In the bill, the government has proposed the banning of any “operation, promotion and organising” of “online games of fortune and mutual betting”, regardless of whether the computing systems for supporting such gambling activities are hosted in Macau.

Before the bill got passed on Wednesday, a total of 10 legislators intervened, mostly to support the bill. A few of them raised questions regarding the draft law, namely if gambling crimes were serious enough to warrant the increase of the pre-trial detention period, as well as the need for undercover investigations by the city’s authorities.

In his reply, André Cheong Weng Chon, Macau’s Secretary for Administration and Justice, explained that the local law enforcement agencies had supported the idea of “enhanced investigation” methods, in order to effectively combat gambling crimes.

Following the first-reading approval, the bill will now be assigned to one of three working committees of the assembly for detailed examination. The committee might make recommendations for revisions and after it has issued a report, the bill returns to the full assembly for its second and final reading.

BY: 실시간 바카라사이트

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