Numerous casino regulators and authorities in Macau have raised awareness regarding the unlawful usage of phone devices on the premises of the casinos. They remind that the casinos should tighten the measures against the access to all mobile devices while the players are gambling at the gaming tables.
The warning against mobile phones usage comes after the authorities have recently discovered an online proxy betting ring, which was performed using the WeChat messenger application. The criminals behind this scheme were live streaming the table game action at an unnamed casino in Macau, thus giving tens of people located at a great distance the chance to give the player directions on what they want to bet. However, the criminals can also use the mobile phones to make a simple phone call and still accomplish their goal of providing outsiders with access to the game.
As many as 17 people have been arrested on suspect of being involved in the illicit online betting sham in one of the bigger casinos. They have been caught live streaming from the VIP hall and assisting long-distance participants in making their bets at the gaming table. Earlier this year the Judiciary Police was warned by a member of the public that there are illegal activities noticed in one of the casinos in Macau. This led to the raid of a residential complex in the Nam Van district and the arrest of seven men which are allegedly the masterminds behind the gambling ring.
The criminals arrested on Thursday were caught filming the whole game happening live and from different points of view, giving the chat participants the opportunity to give each player instructions and tell them the size of bet they want to make. 13 of the criminals were mainland Chinese residents and the four left were males from Macau.
Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) have already issued a statement which reminds that the government and the officials should get their part of the job done and ban all mobile phones with or without Internet connection. All Macau casino operators and junkets should tighten the measures against illicit actions involving mobile phones, as well as improve their monitoring policy. All casino halls, including the VIP rooms, should be under strict video surveillance at all times, thus preventing all illegal actions from occurring in the first place.
The mobile hone ban in casinos came into effect quite recently, on May 9, 2016. Prior to this date it was completely legal for customers to use their phones while playing and they could even proxy bet in the VIP rooms. The only condition was that they must register in advance and make it known that such activities were going to take place.