Macau Set to Gain Access to Confidential Junket Documents

Macau wishes to keep its future junket operators under close supervision, but not everyone agrees. In fact, members of the Second Standing Senate Committee of the Macau Legislative Assembly have voiced concerns that the text of the proposed Legal Framework for Operating Games of Chance in Casinos could be a tad too overreaching and introduces some privacy concerns.

Private Matters No Longer Confidential

As such, the law seems to expect junket operators to be willing to transfer confidential documents to the government on request, something that makes participants uneasy. The draft law explains that any entity or person must comply with the DICJ and the Financial Services Bureau and hand over the requested information. This applies even in the case of confidential documents wherein the problem lies.

Failure to respond to the government’s demands could result in incarceration of up to one year for the guilty party. Chairman of the Second Standing Committee Chan Chak Mo tried to clarify that this simply meant that DICJ and the DSF would have expanded regulatory remit, but not necessarily act on it or threaten confidentiality agreements.

Explanation Does Not Alleviate Qualms

Members of the committee riposted and asked if a clearer wording of the matter was not possible. Chan did confirm, though, that the regulators would be able to collect confidential documents as permitted by the future law:

Legally speaking, even if a confidential document belongs to a law firm or an accounting firm, as long as the DICJ or the DSF wants to obtain the document, the organization concerned has to produce it.

Chairman of the Second Standing Committee Chan Chak Mo

Chan argued that the new arrangement would not necessarily have bearing on existing laws. Macau laws argue that confidential documents may only be obtained with the assistance of a judge who deems it relevant to issue an order enabling authorities to proceed. This would no longer be the case, Chan said. In fact, there are already precedents where police and regulators need to act quickly and may overlook this prerequisite without liability.

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