New Macau Visa Rules to Reduce Mainland Visitors

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HONG KONG, Oct. 16 – Guangdong Province authorities are reportedly implementing new visa rules that would restrict mainland Chinese visits to casino haven, Macau, from once a month to once every two months.

According to MarketWatch, Macau casino stocks ended lower yesterday when a report of the new visa rules came out and cited unidentified provincial government sources.

The new restrictions seem aimed at reining in last month’s soaring gambling revenue when travel restrictions to Macau were eased as well as an effort to contain spending in the mainland market. In September, Macau’s gambling revenues posted a huge 52 percent increase compared to last year’s figures. 

The threat of an overheating gambling industry has also led the city government to consider limiting the number of tables for each casino operator to 1,400, changing the casino entry-age limit to 21 and removing slot machines from residential areas.

Last year, similar visa restrictions for mainland visitors to Macau were also enforced when rumors of local government officials gambling away public funds circulated.

MarketWatch reports that shares of  SJM Holdings 7.7 percent lower yesterday, Melco International Development  dropped by 7.5 percent, Wynn Macau down by 6.3 percent and Galaxy Entertainment Group dropping by 6.4 percent.