Counting on good will and cameras

The head of the gaming watchdog has not yet outlined a clear surveillance plan to prevent frontline casino employees from gaming, but pledged that his Bureau will not share employees’ personal information among different casino properties

“Currently, we have no plans to set up a database for sharing employee information between [casino] properties,” said the head of the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ), Paulo Martins Chan, yesterday.
Director Chan spoke to the press on the sidelines of the third public consultation linked to a proposed law change recommending dealers be banned from entering gaming areas outside of working hours.
The DICJ head added that the Bureau will work in close collaboration with the Office for Personal Data Protection (GPDP).
“For the time being, we plan to employ inspections and reports by third parties,” said Mr. Chan regarding surveillance methods the Bureau intends to use to fulfil the proposed programme.
The DICJ initiative draws on the proposal for revision of the 2012 law regulating the entry, work and act of gaming in casinos.
One of the main measures of the law, enacted in 2012, was raising the minimum age limit for entering and working in casinos to 21 from 18 years of age.
According to Chan, who opened the public consultation yesterday, the current proposal entails three main changes: banning frontline gaming workers from entering gaming areas in casinos when they are off-duty; streamlining sanction procedures for people under 21 years of age found in gaming areas; and introducing a precautionary and temporary measure for apprehending casino chips found in the possession of individuals caught in the act of infringing the law.
Infractions under the new law would result in fines ranging from MOP1,000 (US$124) to MOP10,000.
“The current law does not invest casino inspectors with the authority to seize gaming chips in cases of infraction, and this needs to be corrected,” stated Chan.
During his talk, he further highlighted that the DICJ’s main focus is in stopping frontline workers from entering gaming areas when not on the job.
Reiterating previous comments, the DICJ head also said the proposed changes follow the consideration of data released by the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS), signalling an increase in cases of gaming addiction by casino dealers.
Also speaking at the public hearing yesterday a spokesperson for IAS President Vong Yim Mui claimed that the number of casino workers with reported gaming habits, and potential addiction to gambling, is higher than the number of residents reported gambling who do not work in gaming areas.