Details of the electronic gaming machines (EGM) Technical Standards 2.0 emerged last year. The change sought to introduce rules that ensure the same technical standard for gambling operators, protect the consumers and help with the development of the market.
EGMs Need to Comply with New Rules
Now, a new report by IAG reveals that the deadline for the implementation of the new standard was extended. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) in Macau decided to extend the period for transition to the new rules by two years. The extension was voted on late last month.
Under the previous proposal, by December 31, 2024, all operators had to be fully compliant with the new Technical Standards 2.0. However, this period was now extended by two years, making the deadline for 100% compliance December 31, 2026.
Besides changing the deadline for full compliance, the DICJ changed the timeline for gradual compliance with the new rules. Initially, by the end of this year, 40% of all EGMs had to be compliant with the new standard. This percentage decreased to 25%, judging by the latest announcement.
On the other hand, by the end of 2024, 50% of the EGMs had to be compliant with the new rules. By 2025, 75% of the EGMs in Macau would need to meet Technical Standard 2.0. Finally, by the end of 2026, all such machines would need to be fully compliant with the new rules.
The New Standard Is Expected to Boost the Sector
Lio Chi Chong, DICJ’s deputy director, acknowledged that the extension of the compliance period comes after a study pointed out that it would help Macau’s gambling sector by boosting its sustainable development and health. Although the DICJ changed the deadline for compliance, it said that there are no further changes to the regulations regarding Technical Standard 2.0.
The latest announcement comes amid hopes for an increase in visitation and consequently revenue in Macau. Only recently, the head of the Government Tourism Office in Macau, Maria Helene de Senna Fernandes, said the SAR hopes to see visitations go up. She predicted that with an increase in traveling and the lifting of COVID-related restrictions, Macau may see up to 40,000 daily average visitors.
However, whether the SAR will see the visitations go up remains unclear. In fact, GGR for the region in 2022 dipped by 50%, making the result the worst in the last decade. Still, gambling operators hope for the best and some have already announced plans to introduce non-gaming amenities in an effort to boost visitor volumes.