Sunday, July 14, 2024

Macau: 4 arrested for alleged illegal gambling

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Those arrested were allegedly playing mahjong in the attic of a shop.

Macau.- Police in Macau have arrested four people aged between 50 and 60 for allegedly playing mahjong in the attic of a shop at Av. Marginal do Lam Mau. Police say they found two mahjong tables and gambling equipment and that the location had been operating since March.

A woman allegedly charged MOP80 per table for hourly rent. It was estimated that she had been making up to MOP$500 (US$62.18) per month.

In June, Chan Chak Mo, a lawmaker who leads the Second Standing Committee discussing the draft Law on Combating Illegal Gambling Crimes, said Macau lawmakers were requesting the government to provide more detailed guidance on the legality of mahjong in restaurants and clubs. Legislation prohibits unapproved profit-generating gambling. That would appear to allow mahjong if businesses don’t charge, but the committee is seeking guidance.

The proposed legislation suggests that illegal gambling, both online and offline, as well as mutual betting, should be exceptions to the Criminal Procedure Ordinance’s time restrictions, permitting searches of residences from 9pm to 7am. It also proposes fines ranging from MOP1,500 (US$186) to MOP5,000 (US$620) for those involved in illegal gambling in public spaces such as parks and squares.

The bill was presented by the director of the Legal Affairs Bureau, Leong Weng In, last December. It is intended to replace Macau’s existing Illegal Gambling Law (Law 8/96/m). It passed its initial reading at the Legislative Assembly in February.

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