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China relaxes Macao travel ban

Last Updated: Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 14:06

Hong Kong: China has relaxed a travel ban on mainland travellers going to Macao, the only Chinese city where gambling is legal.

Residents of Guangdong Province in southern China can now travel to Macao once every month, local media reports said quoting the city`s casino mogul Stephen Wynn.

Beijing slapped the visa curb nearly a year ago in a bid to check excessive gambling by its citizens, the move reduced gambling in the territory and also hampered casino business which was already slow due to the global economic recession.
The authorities are yet to announce changes in the travel restrictions.

Since the government cracked the 40-year monopoly held by local casino tycoon Stanley Ho in 2002, the revenue of Macao`s gambling industry jumped from USD 5.3 billion in 2004 to USD 14 billion last year, Wynn said.

There are about 33 casinos in the city.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 14:06
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