Gaming authority director to not attend G2E Asia due to illegal online gambling investigation

Macau (MNA) – The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) informed MNA that its Director, Paulo Martins Chan, will not be present at 2019 G2E Asia after reports that exhibitors in the gaming expo were promoting illegal online gaming.

As customary in previous G2E Asia editions, the DICJ Director was scheduled to attend this expo opening ceremony on Tuesday and make a speech after SJM Holdings Executive Director, Daisy Ho. However schedule changes showed he would not attend the ceremony.

According to the department’s response to MNA, after reports made by ‘certain associations and the public’ that some exhibitors were suspected of ‘using the Macau exhibition to promote illegal online gaming’, an investigation by the department was initiated.

‘During the period of the exhibition, the DICJ will send inspectors to conduct more frequent inspections, and will distribute illegal online gaming leaflets to the exhibitors to remind them about the laws of Macau,’ the department stated.

The 2019 G2E Asia is currently being held at The Venetian between May 21 and 23, with event organising company Reed Exhibitions being responsible for the gaming event.

‘The DICJ believes that before a detailed investigation on the matter is completed to dispel the doubts of the public, it will be more proper for the Bureau not to attend activities held by the respective exhibition organizer’.

When previously inquired by MNA on the absence of the DICJ Director, a Reed Exhibitions representative stated different commitments led Mr. Chan to not attend.

After the DICJ response MNA also contacted Reed Exhibitions for a reply but a response had not been received as of the time this article was published.

In January of this year, Reed Exhibitions indicated that it would partner with Hong Kong company Blockchain Labs Co., Limited to organise a Financial Technology Asia segment in this year’s edition.

This segment would have a focus on connecting financial professionals from casinos and gaming platforms with new blockchain, cloud, cybersecurity and payment technology solutions.

According to the event schedule, today a Blockchain & Gaming panel talk will be held at 2:15pm at the event’s Financial technology Forum.

Due to the connection between blockchain and cryptocurrencies – which are not regulated by local financial authorities – the DICJ told MNA at the time that any technology that can be used for gaming transactions has to be approved by local gaming authorities.

The department also stated that it would contact the G2E organisers to remind them to enforce measures that assure that all participants in the conference follow Macau regulations.

Reed Exhibitions then responded that none of the activities and events that are being organized for G2E Asia 2019 were in breach of Macau SAR laws.

After the response sent by DICJ yesterday, MNA tried to clarify with the gaming department if the investigation was focused on the blockchain segment of the event but the department did not specify the exact focus of its illegal online gaming investigation.