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Skill-based gaming a no go: regulator

The Macau gaming regulator says it has no plans to promote skill-based games in the territory, according to a report from Macau Business Daily on Tuesday.

While skill-based gaming is seen as a way for Macau to diversify its gaming offerings and offer a new avenue for “millennial gamers” to engage in the industry, the reality is that implementation would be difficult.

“​Skills-based games go against the grain of most gaming laws, which require games to be based upon chance,” said Ben Lee, the managing partner of Macau-based consultancy company IGamiX in an interview with Macau Business Daily. “For casinos to introduce more skills-based games, the jurisdictions they operate in will need to have major changes of heart and that will take a massive and coordinated effort,” he added.

Skill-based games could also go in the same way as poker has in Las Vegas, where any newcomers become “fodder for the veterans of the games”.

“Poker is a classic example where the sharks - being the veteran players - usually lie in wait for the novices who enter the game and end up paying for their ‘education’,” he said. “Poker is now dying out in Las Vegas and not only that, casinos make very little if any money out of these types of games”.

However, Business Daily has been informed by the regulator that it would not promote such games in the territory.

“Currently, the government has no plan to promote skill-based games in Macau,” the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) informed the Macau based news outlet in an email.

Asia Gaming Brief is a news and intelligence service providing up to date market information for worldwide executives on relevant gaming issues in Asia.

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