G2E Asia

Experts urge to strengthen regulations to address gambling problem

Responsible gaming advocates at the 3rd Asia Pacific Responsible Gaming Forum have renewed their calls for legislative intervention to combat problem gambling on casino floors in Macau. Experts emphasize the need for government action to protect vulnerable individuals who may spend days at a time at the gambling tables.

Speaking at a panel discussion at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia, Zeng Zhong Lu, president of the Asia Pacific Association for Gambling Studies, said, “Those who are pathological and problem gamblers should be subject to legal intervention.” Zeng argued for measures that can protect these vulnerable individuals and minimize the harm caused by excessive gambling. He said the Macau government needed to establish “legal standards for problem gambling” in order to provide a safer environment for those struggling with gambling addiction.

Su Guo Jing of the Asian Responsible Gaming Alliance echoed Zeng’s sentiments, urging the Macau government to consider successful practices from other jurisdictions, stating “Not all approaches are applicable in Macau, but we could evaluate their effectiveness with the help of experts.” Su suggested extending the scope of protection to individuals from outside Macau, particularly those crossing the border. Zeng agreed, saying, “Protections for residents and casino workers are already somewhat in place, but those for guests are nowhere to be seen.”

Both Zeng and Su emphasized the need for legislative updates to address emerging forms of gambling and to safeguard individuals who are not residents of Macau, saying, “The Macau government should proactively promote the legislation in this regard, as casino operators may not prioritize such measures on their own.” The involvement of stakeholders and pressure from various parties can motivate companies to prioritize responsible gaming initiatives.

Liu Day Yang, Professor Emeritus at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, shared his experience in the gambling industry, noting that “There are a lot of good friends” in the industry, many of whom have passed away. He emphasized the need for research and responsible practices, stating, “We don’t want the existence of the gaming industry to become very popular. We don’t want people to spend all their money buying lottery tickets at home. We don’t want children to buy lottery tickets right after school.” Yang also highlighted the potential impact of gambling addiction on individuals, citing the case of a friend who “drank a lot of whiskey every night” and “almost died” due to the issue.

Zeng and Su’s calls for legislative intervention were echoed by Liu Day Yang, who stressed the importance of responsible practices and research in the gambling industry. Yang’s personal experiences and concerns underscored the need for a comprehensive approach to address problem gambling in Macau. Staff Reporter

Categories Macau