Beijing has tightened restrictions for Chinese visitors that go to Macao, according to a statement published this week. This move is a sign that authorities are trying to stop the astonishing growth of gaming in the city. Visitors from the Guangdong province, which shares a border with Macao, will now be limited to one trip every three months.
Before, visitors could travel to Macao every two months, but since then, new restrictions have been applied to the visas granted by the government, according to the report. Guangdong is one of the main sources of tourists to Macao.
This new regulation is the latest effort by Chinese and Macao authorities, to stop the spectacular growth of the city, which has surpassed Las Vegas Strip in terms of gaming profits. Edmund Ho, CEO of the city, announced this year a new tax for the casinos, in the middle of worries that the city could suffer too much pressure in terms of infrastructure.
China is also worried about the flight of capital, mainly to companies based in the United States, which have been the major investors in Macao since the gaming business started in 2002. China is also aware of local corrupt officials and the increase of gambling addictions.
In July, Macao announced a series of restrictions to visitors in continental China, but, in spite of the measures, Andy Wu, president of the Travelling Industry Council in Macao, said numbers would climb up to 10% this year.