Macau’s gaming regulator has dismissed the likelihood of the world’s largest casino hub authorizing any cryptocurrency-related gaming operations anytime soon.
On Wednesday, Paulo Martins Chan, director of Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), informed G2E Asia Conference attendees that the regulator had no plans to allow its gaming licensees to transact in cryptocurrencies “in the near future.”
Macau Business quoted Chan (pictured) saying no casinos were currently accepting cryptocurrency payments because “these products have not been officially introduced in Macau.” Chan went on to say that the Macao Monetary Authority (AMCM) “does not encourage” the use of cryptocurrency products, “especially in the gaming sector.”
The use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to facilitate deals between private individuals isn’t illegal in Macau, but the AMCM recently issued a statement saying a virtual currency was a ‘virtual commodity’ and as such was “neither a legal currency nor a financial instrument.”
Late last year, a Hong Kong company called Dragon Corp held an initial coin offering (ICO) for its Dragon Coin token, the proceeds of which were to fund a floating casino-hotel in the waters off Macau. Among the investors snapping up the tokens were four unidentified Macau casino junket operators, who reportedly eyed the token as a more effective means of moving money on and off the Chinese mainland.
The DICJ’s Chan told the Macau News Agency that it was fully aware of Dragon Corp’s activities, and had combined with the AMCM to publicly state that Dragon Corp “doesn’t belong to any gaming operator in Macau, any junket operator or VIP gaming promoter, so it doesn’t have any relationship with Macau.”
Dragon Corp has since found a friendlier welcome in South Korea via a deal with casino operator Grand Korea Leisure. Dragon Corp plans to use its Ethereum-based Dragon Coin in GKL’s VIP gaming rooms to reduce the transaction costs of currency movement for both junkets and their high-rolling customers.