With licence renewal applications occupying the minds of Macau casino owners, political and financial analysts are speculating that the Chinese regulators may have another trick up their sleeves in the form of the trial implementation of the digital yuan.
For the first time in 20 years, casinos are having to re-apply for their licence renewals, and according to a Chinese Government Consultation Paper, regulators are keen to take this opportunity to compel operators to accept the experimental use of the digital yuan.
Distanced from the daily lives of the residents of mainland China, Macau is seen as the ideal environment in which to evaluate new and different ideas and technologies. And casino operators, described as “eager to please” as the relicensing process unfolds, will find themselves supporting this initiative, especially as they seek new audiences to replace the declining ‘high roller’ gamblers. Recent official data shows that ‘mass market’ players now account for two-thirds of gaming revenue and almost 90% of earnings.
In addition, in the light of recent junket-related problems, the Chinese authorities also want to examine whether the introduction of digital payments in casinos can help in the fight against corruption.