Responsible gaming continues to be the leading topic in the gaming industry around the world. Land-based and online casinos are expected by regulators to be more proactive at protecting gamblers from themselves. Macau is making changes to its gaming industry, as well, introducing the new Electronic Gaming Machine Technical Standards version 2.0 that went live as of September 1. As part of the new requirements, all slot machines are going to have to be equipped with a feature that many gamblers may not like at first, but which will disappear into the façade quickly.
Macau Slots Get Clocks
All of the slot machines on gaming floors in Macau’s casinos will have to include a clock, an indirect reminder of how long a player has been sitting in front of the one-armed bandit. The clock will be an “intermittently flashing clock,” according to GGRAsia, that shows the current local time and must be outfitted on all electronic gaming machines (EGM). The requirement does not, however, extend to electronic table games. For its purposes, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ, for its Portuguese acronym) refers to slot machines as EGMs.
Casinos have time to update their EGMs to comply with the new regulations, but procrastination isn’t recommended. The DICJ has given operators until December 2024 to have all machines retrofitted with the clocks and any new slot being brought in will need to include it, as well. The regulator acknowledges that the inclusion of the clock is to promote responsible gaming, with the device giving gamblers an idea of how much time they have spent plunking coins, cash or cards into the machines.
Clocks Likely to be Ignored
According to the language of the Electronic Gaming Machine Technical Standards version 2.0, the clock must use a 12-hour format and be located in the bottom right-hand corner of the EGM’s main screen. It must flash when the player starts to play and no more than every ten minutes after that in a single session. There is no indication of the size of the clock and it’s likely that its position will allow it to easily be dismissed by gamblers, focused more on the spinning reels and symbols that are being produced.
Since the birth of the casino, clocks were taboo – operators didn’t want gamblers to know how long they had been playing. That is changing with the new responsible gaming initiatives that are being introduced everywhere, and more casinos around the world are going to include similar options as those now appearing in Macau’s gaming properties. In almost all jurisdictions where gaming has been legalized, responsible gaming has become the foundation upon which gambling is being constructed or reconstructed.