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Macao chief vows to promote "responsible gaming"

2009-11-19 10:31 BJT

MACAO, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The government of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) will step up its effort to promote "responsible gaming" and further regulate the SAR's gaming industry, the SAR's Chief Executive Ho Hau Wah said on Wednesday.

The SAR government will closely cooperate with local academic institutions and civil groups in promoting the "responsible gaming", in a bid to alleviate the negative impact brought up by Macao's gaming boom, said Ho when presenting his report on the government work at the SAR's Legislative Assembly Wednesday afternoon.

Since Ho's term as the second Chief Executive (CE) of the SAR will end in the middle of December this year, this report will be his last one in office.

The idea of "responsible gaming" is to prevent gambling which is done excessively and negatively, and affects other areas of a person's life, such as their physical or mental health, school or work performance, finances, and/or interpersonal relationships, according to the Responsible Gambling Council, a non-profit group based in Canada. The idea have already been adopted and promoted by authorities in gaming hubs such as the Las Vegas.

In addition to local gambling problems, Ho also reiterated the SAR government's effort to diversify local economy which highly relied on its gaming sector.

Macao saw its total gaming revenues for the third quarter this year reach 31.78 billion patacas (4.02 billion U.S. dollars), which was the highest quarterly revenues ever recorded, according to the figures from Macao's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

Through the diversification effort, Macao's MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions) industry has kept up its development pace this year and the SAR government has given full support for local MICE activities, nurtured local MICE brands and launched relevant personnel trainings, said Ho.

In the first half year of 2009, a total of 730 MICE events were held in Macao, with an average duration of two days, attracting 211,287 participants or attendees, the latest figures from the SAR's Statistics and Census Service indicated.

Editor: Su Yu | Source: Xinhua