Gambling in Macau Not ‘Bad Behavior’

A Chinese central government agency recently included gambling on a list of “bad behaviors” to be avoided by Chinese citizens. An author of the directive points out that the warning does not refer to gambling in Macau.

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A recent circular issued by a Chinese central government agency warning residents not to gamble on holiday at home or while traveling does not include legal gambling in Macau, reported GGRAsia.

The China National Tourism Administration recently published a list of nine “bad behaviors” that included gambling. But Han Yuning, a scholar at Beijing International Studies University, told the publication said the warning was meant for those “gambling domestically on the Mainland.” Han helped to draft the notice, she said.

The directive also warned tourists against drug use; engaging in prostitution; damaging cultural relics; disorderly conduct on public transportation; unhygienic activity in public; violating social customs; endangering themselves and others; and damaging ecological environments, GGRAsia reported.

Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, agreed that the guidelines do not apply to Macau, the only place in the People’s Republic of China where casino gaming is legal.

Concerns were raised when Chinese-language media said those who breached the CNTA rules could face sanctions and have their names recorded in a “black book” for at least a year, and up to five years for infractions that included criminal activity. Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd. noted that ending up on a blacklist could ultimately lead to a negative report on a so-called “social credit” rating system in China, which scores citizens based on factors including social behavior and encounters with law enforcement. In addition, any person added to a blacklist could be called out publicly for the violations, the CNTA notice added.