Gaming watchdog restructured by adding more departments and staff to improve industry oversight

The purview of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau will be widened as two new departments and 12 new divisions will be added to the agency in an organisational revamp aimed at improving supervision of the gaming industry in Macau.

The news was announced in the Macau Government Gazette which was published last Friday (18 June). According to the notice, the gaming watchdog will now have six departments and 13 divisions and its permanent staff will be increased from 192 to 459.

This is the watchdog’s first major restructuring since Macau’s gaming liberalisation in 2002. With the rapid growth of Macau’s gaming industry over the past two decades, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau has found it more and more difficult to deliver its policy objectives with its obsolete operational structure.

The President of the Macau Social Studies Association, Mr Kot Man Kam, said that it was high time that the purview of the gaming watchdog was widened. More importantly, the addition of new departments could greatly enhance industry supervision and regulation by defining more clear-cut functions of each department, added Mr Kot.

Another academic, Mr Song Wai Kit, noted that the restructuring might signal more rigorous oversight in the area of licencing. He believed that in the future the validity period of licences for gaming junkets and third-party cooperation agreements might be shortened and be subject to more stringent renewal requirements.

Meanwhile the promotion of responsible gaming will be a new function of the gaming watchdog after the revamp.