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Aug 31, 2014

Macau ‘re-elects’ new leader as authorities stifle democratic rumblings

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub, re-elected its leader and sole candidate Fernando Chui on Sunday, a widely expected result after the pro-China government stifled an unofficial referendum on democracy.

Chui was returned to office by a select panel of 400 largely pro-China loyalists in the tiny but wealthy former Portuguese colony. Macau’s leaders have taken a much harder line than in neighboring in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy activists have been struggling for universal suffrage.

Aug 29, 2014

Macau to “re-elect” leader as democratic rumblings, mirroring Hong Kong, are stifled

HONG KONG, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Macau chief executive Fernando
Chui is widely expected to be “re-elected” on Sunday after the
pro-China government stifled an unofficial referendum on
democracy, taking a much harder line on the gambling hub than
leaders have in neighbouring Hong Kong.

The election in the tiny but wealthy former Portuguese-run
enclave, by a select panel of 400 largely pro-China loyalists
with Chui the only candidate, echoes the struggle in Hong Kong,
where activists have been pushing for universal suffrage since
China reclaimed the British colony in 1997.

Aug 28, 2014

Hong Kong anti-graft agency raids home of media tycoon critical of Beijing

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Anti-corruption officers in Hong Kong on Thursday morning raided the home of Jimmy Lai, a media magnate and an outspoken critic of Beijing who has supported pro-democracy activists through his many publications.

The raids come after local media said on Wednesday that China had decided to limit 2017 elections to a handful of candidates loyal to Beijing, a move likely to escalate protests by pro-democracy activists. [ID:nH9N0QV001]

Aug 28, 2014

HK anti-graft agency raids home of media tycoon critical of Beijing

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Anti-corruption officers in Hong Kong on Thursday morning raided the home of Jimmy Lai, a media magnate and an outspoken critic of Beijing who has supported pro-democracy activists through his many publications.

The raids come after local media said on Wednesday that China had decided to limit 2017 elections to a handful of candidates loyal to Beijing, a move likely to escalate protests by pro-democracy activists.

Aug 4, 2014

Macau casino workers demand bigger share of the winnings

HONG KONG, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Disgruntled casino workers are
becoming a costly thorn in Macau’s side.

As the Chinese territory races to build eight new resorts in
the next three years, labour strains look set to intensify:
workers are demanding higher pay and threatening strikes at a
time when operators face a labour shortage.

Jun 3, 2014

Investors trim Macau bets as money curbs dim growth prospects

HONG KONG, June 4 (Reuters) – Global investors are paring
their bets on stocks geared to Macau, the world’s casino
capital, after a raft of regulatory curbs sparked concerns about
slowing revenue growth in the next few months.

Macau, a special administrative region like neighbouring
Hong Kong, is the only place in China where citizens can legally
gamble in casinos, and analysts say its growth prospects in the
longer term remain strong, due to its proximity to the mainland.
Eight new resorts are also set to open within three years.

May 29, 2014

Casino hub Macau scraps bill on big payouts after record protests

HONG KONG, May 29 (Reuters) – The top official in Macau, the
world’s gambling capital, said on Thursday a bill providing
lavish perks for senior civil servants would be withdrawn days
after the largest protest in the enclave since China restored
control over it in 1999.

The climbdown represents the first time the government has
taken heed of a large civic movement in Macau, a former
Portuguese territory with autonomy and provisions for free
speech much like neighbouring Hong Kong.

May 28, 2014

Waddell & Reed exits Sands China, shifts stake to Las Vegas Sands

HONG KONG, May 28 (Reuters) – U.S. fund manager Waddell &
Reed Financial Inc said Wednesday it raised $1.38
billion by selling its remaining stake in Macau-based Sands
China Ltd, and shifted most of its holdings to parent Las Vegas
Sands to boost its global gaming exposure.

The sell-down comes as Macau gaming stocks face pressure due
to a raft of negative news, after clocking a scorching pace of
growth over the past two years.

May 16, 2014

Macau seeking curbs on China’s UnionPay bank card in casinos -source

MACAU, May 16 (Reuters) – Macau authorities have urged banks
to restrict the use of China’s state-backed bank card at some
retail outlets of casinos in the world’s largest gambling hub, a
person with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters, in a
bid to curb increasing amounts of illegal capital outflows from
China.

The crackdown follows a Reuters investigative report in
March that highlighted the illegal use of UnionPay cards to
obtain cash through fake purchases of goods in Macau to evade
China’s strict currency-export controls.

May 12, 2014

Taxing times for pachinko as Japan considers casino gamble

OSAKA/TOKYO (Reuters) – Moves towards legalizing casinos in Japan have reignited a debate over the legal status of pachinko, with a potential new tax mooted for a $200 billion gaming industry that has existed for decades on the fringes of the law.

Pachinko, a slot-cum-pinball form of gambling, is a national obsession, with one in six Japanese playing the game, though that number is declining as younger generations prefer to play games on their mobile phones.