Macau Cracking Down on Casino Freebies?

The Macau government reportedly has asked casino concessionaires to stop offering perks like free food and drink to their customers. Why? The practice is supposedly taking a bite out of small businesses.

Macau Cracking Down on Casino Freebies?

Soon, Macau casinos may no longer woo customers with perks like free snacks and complimentary beverages. According to Inside Asian Gaming, the government has asked the city’s concessionaires to curb the practice because it’s skimming business from small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

The ban on freebies is reportedly already in place at Wynn Macau and the Parisian, a Sands China property. But some casino employees told the news outlet they’re unaware of any official order.

Even so, Billy Song, president of the Macau Association for Responsible Gaming, told IAG, “I believe that the casinos will gradually change the mode of serving free snacks in the near future.

“Free snacks will indeed increase the casinos’ visitor flow,” he continued. “But whether this will squeeze the room for survival of SMEs or not, the casinos may take this into consideration and make adjustments in order to fulfill their social responsibility.”

The practice may have already backfired, however, as some casinos have reportedly canceled orders for foods placed at the same SMEs.

Casinos in the Chinese special administrative region (SAR) first began offering free snacks, drinks and transportation after Covid-19 to bring back customers. IAG reports that so-called “zero-dollar tours” mostly target younger guests coming from the mainland.

Though the news outlet could not confirm the ban with the local government, a source was quoted as saying, “Everyone has been doing it. The government wants it reduced and controlled.”