Digital RMB may deal fresh blow to casino junkets but Sands President is positive about the digital currency

As the Macau government has announced earlier that it would be following the footsteps of the central government in the implementation of digital Renminbi (RMB), reactions of the gaming industry have been mixed: some analysts view the introduction of digital RMB as the death knell of casino junkets while others believe that the move can be a positive development for casinos in Macau.

Robert Goldstein, Chairman of Las Vegas Sands and Macau’s Sands China, has described the introduction of digital RMB as ‘a very positive thing for the Macau market as it becomes more integrated into China and more consumer-friendly’. Goldstein believes that the addition of the digital currency as legal tender in Macau can provide a new form of liquidity to local casinos and help operators expand their customer base.

However, other industry insiders remain wary about digital RMB. Many believe that it will make the traditional casino junket industry obsolete. Gaming operators are also concerned that if high-stakes customers purchase gaming chips using digital currency instead of via junkets, it could trigger a collapse in the sector’s basic structure.

The Chinese government’s implementation of digital RMB is intended to combat money laundering, criminal activities and possible terrorist financing. The Macau Monetary Authority is currently in the process of amending its legal frameworks in cooperation with the People’s Bank of China to incorporate digital RMB into the regional economy.