Gambling funds obtained through illicit card-swiping in Macau are estimated to 12 % of mass market turnover. (Image: wikipedia.org/Brenden Brain)
The effect of Asia’s imminent crackdown on the use of hand-held card swipers is being felt in Macau, with the Wynn Macau witnessing its market decline that is biggest since October 2011.
Macau’s casino economy has soared over the last several years, so much so that it now eclipses vegas as the gambling capital worldwide, nevertheless the Chinese government’s unexpected enforcement of a ban on illegal money transfers has investors worried; Wynn Resorts Ltd. fell recently to 8.5 percent at the close in Hong Kong trading, while MGM Asia Holdings Ltd. dropped 8.2 percent for the same duration. The Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., meanwhile, fell 7.6 percent, while Sands China Ltd. dropped 4.6 percent, and SJM Holdings Ltd., 6.6 %.
People to Macau from the mainland are permitted to bring no more than 20,000 yuan ($3,200) into the gambling hub and may just withdraw 10,000 yuan per day, per card, from cash devices. To swerve the limitations, tourists are able to buy goods from local pawn shops using their debit cards and then trade them for regional currency with the exact same pawnbroker.
Illegal Card-Swiping Amounts to $6 Billion
However, the increasing usage of card-swiping machines in casinos has perhaps not only caused a slump in Macau’s pawnbroking industry, but it is additiona