Macau happens to be the place to gamble in China. In fact, there aren’t many other ways to do so under current Chinese gambling laws, except for state-run lotteries.
Macau, a former Portuguese colony, since 1999 in Chinese hands, has experienced massive growth in the past several years. Its revenues already dwarf those at Las Vegas, and keep on growing. Yet, the local legislators seek to change the gambling laws in the enclave.
One of the changes sought is raising the age required to gamble and work at Macau’s casinos from 18 to 21. Moreover, the lawmakers seek to establish a smoking ban, one which would cover at least 50% of casinos’ floorspace. (What is quite interesting is when New Jersey imposed a smoking ban, Atlantic City casinos got an exception.)
Many critics of the smoking ban claim that once the players can’t smoke inside, they’ll go outside and may lose interest in continuing, especially if they think of the cash lost. When it comes to raising the age, there are many supporters who state that this will decrease problem gambling among the youth.
Another proposal is for self-exclusion program where problem gamblers can exclude themselves from a casino. Then, entering it could result in a gambler ending up in a jail for up to a year. This may prevent problem players from doing it in the first place. Imagine being on a list and then sneaking into one of the Chinese poker rooms? Are you a felon then?
Although Macau is growing up, the internet betting in China still has long way to go. Given the vast size of the country, not everyone is able to travel to Macau, which results in large illegal and unregulated gambling profits.