Macau is trying to stay on top of sites pretending to be Macau-based operations. According to authorities, seven investigations have been launched in the first half of 2019, into sites that may be using the region’s brand to attract potential customers.
As reported by Macau Business, Sit Chong Meng, director of Macau’s Judiciary Police, commented on the investigations, noting that none of the sites they are looking into are actually based in Macau. Rather, they are claiming to be from the region, using its prestige to promote their sites. If they had been based in the city, that would be illegal, as the territory has made online gambling illegal.
What can be done about these fraudulent claims? Not very much. The Judiciary Police have no jurisdiction over sites that aren’t based out of Macau. All the same, they want to stay on top of the situation to shut down anything they can, as that’s their job really.
An example of an operation that recently had a hard look at was Suncity Group. The operator was accused of offering illegal online gambling to mainland Chinese residents, a claim it denied. While the charges came from the media and no actual criminal charges were leveled at Suncity, it embarrassed Macau, who’s regulator called in all six of the city’s concessionaires to remind them of the law.
Shortly before that dust-up, Macau had inspected several casinos, including Suncity’s operations, to see if any potential crimes could be found. Luckily for all involved, nothing out of the ordinary was found.
Unfortunately though, with the nature of the internet and lax regulation in some territories, it’s pretty easy for sites to continue claiming they are based in Macau and offering to China. It’s a trend that can be expected to continue, as there’s simply too much money to be made from the practice. The only real solution available is for countries like China to realize that gambling prohibitions simple don’t work, there’s too much supply, demand, and loopholes to keep the industry going.