Macau Says No to Cryptocurrency Casinos

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Despite plans being made to launch a full-blown land-based cryptocurrency casino right in the centre of Asia’s biggest gambling hub, regulators in the Chinese region of Macau say they have no plans to authorize the use of cryptocurrencies in the casino sector. According to a high representative of the regulatory body, such a scenario won’t come any time soon.

Gambling Watchdog Shoots Down Hopes

Last Wednesday, reporters at the Global Gaming Expo Asia (G2E Asia) – the biggest gambling-entertainment event in that part of the globe – were informed by the director of DICJ (Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau), Paulo Martins Chan, that the industry watchdog isn’t planning to permit cryptocurrency transactions for its licensees anytime “in the near future”.

As local news source Macau Business reports, the director revealed the agency’s stance on the matter to reporters from the Macau News Agency to whom he told that the regulatory body hadn’t authorized any product related to cryptocurrencies. Speaking to the press representatives, Chan said that the agency is putting an emphasis on “financial security” and that the use of cryptocurrencies also hasn’t been approved by the Macau Monetary Authority (AMCM), “especially in the gaming sector”.

The revelation comes not long after the apprehension of a Macau local for fraudulently promoting the sale of digital currencies. Last month, the local authorities uncovered a company that falsely promoted its own digital currency by saying that it was accepted by a number of popular junket operators. However, local operators quickly responded to the false advertisements by saying that their names and logos were abused. This was, to some extent, the reason why the AMCM issued warnings last month about cryptocurrency casino tokens, reminding locals that virtual currencies were not a legal tender in the region.

Dragon Corp Future in Macau Still Unclear

In contrast with the statements coming from DICJ, the company behind the plan to build a floating cryptocurrency casino in Macau, Dragon Corp, hasn’t backed down yet but only repeatedly confirmed its plans. The company ran a public Initial Coin Offering (ICO) between February and March this year, hoping to achieve its goal of raising $500 million for the project. Prior to the ICO’s start, Dragon Corp claimed to have raised around $320 million from four junket partners in Macau who reportedly saw the company’s Dragon Coin token as a more efficient way of conducting local operations.

It is Dragon Corp that triggered AMCM’s public warning, since the warning explicitly stated that the financial regulator was made aware of a local company that has been running ICO campaigns. Speaking to the reporters on Wednesday, the head of the DICJ confirmed that the regulator was informed of the operation of Dragon Corp and thus immediately released a mutual statement with the DICJ that Dragon Corp isn’t owned by any Macau casino operator, any promoter of VIP trips, or any junket operator in the region, i.e. it has no ties whatsoever to businesses in Macau. Where its future may lay remains to be seen.

May 23, 2018: • No Comments

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