Macau casinos reportedly suspend customer services in mainland China after the criminalisation of organised gaming outside Chinese borders

Since mainland China’s amended Criminal Law came into force on 1 March, which has outlawed the act of organising Chinese citizens to gamble online or offline outside Chinese borders, casino operators in Macao have either disbanded their customer service team in mainland China or suspended customer services in the region in a bid to avoid legal pitfalls, according to informed sources familiar with the matter.

Informed sources have told Allin Media that Wynn Macau (1128) has dissolved its customer service team in mainland China; some of the team’s members have been put on unpaid leave while others have been dismissed. The team had more than 10 full-time employees at its peak and was mainly responsible for liaising with high-end clients in mainland China and arranging for them to gamble in Macau.

Meanwhile MGM China (2282) has reportedly suspended its customer service operations in mainland China while Melco Crown has renamed its marketing department in the region and giving its staff new calling cards that do not contain wordings related to casinos or gaming. MGM China had about 20 employees in its customer service team during the peak of Macau’s gaming boom between 2012 and 2013.

It is understood that casino operators are trying to take every precaution to avoid legal pitfalls in the wake of the mainland’s amended Criminal Law, which makes organised gaming outside Chinese borders a criminal offence with a maximum jail sentence of 10 years.

Allin Media has contacted the three casino operators mentioned above to verify the reports but all three companies have yet to respond to the inquiry.

Casino operators in Macau have relied on their customer service teams in mainland China to attract high-end players in the past. It remains to be seen whether the amended Criminal Law will bring an end to such practices.