Online gambling has finally come to Macau casinos, although you might find the queue to get online a little long.
On Tuesday, MGM China’s MGM Macau casino officially launched eight digital “fixed terminals” and four “hand-held computer tablets” that offer a variety of games to individuals hanging around its casino floor. Casinos in Las Vegas have had such options for years but this represents Macau’s first foray into digital gaming.
The new digital gaming devices were brought to MGM Macau by the cloud -based GameSource electronic platform of local firm International Alliance Systems Ltd (IAS). The terminals and tablets currently offer seven different casino games, all of them in low denomination formats (at least until regulators are sure there are no digital kinks to be worked out).
Macau’s regulators are famously skittish of anything to do with online gambling, which probably explains why IAS has been working toward Tuesday’s launch since 2015. IAS CEO Anthony IP told the Macau News Agency that it had indeed been “a long journey” to get local regulators on board but he was proud to have been the one to pop Macau’s digital gambling cherry.
IAS currently offers around 80 casino products – including slots, table games and virtual sports – via GameSource and the plan is to roll out additional games and newer model terminals at MGM Macau over the next two months and then expand the digital product to MGM China’s newer, flashier MGM Cotai property. Ip eventually hopes to sign up additional Macau operators as well as casinos in other Asia-Pacific markets.
Ip told GGRAsia that table games were the chief request his company was currently fielding from local casino operators but IAS is working with third-party game developers to further expand GameSource’s offering early in the new year.
Ip added that GameSource doesn’t store any player data in its systems, meaning all sensitive information remains the responsibility of its casino partners.
By Peter Amsel
19 December 2019