Possible visa restrictions in Macau

Travel restriction fears return

Land casino operators in Macau, already feeling the weight of the global economic meltdown and government pressure to curtail expansion, were faced with more worries as the week ended with fears of visa restrictions.

Shares of Macau casino operators tumbled Thursday on new concerns about visa restrictions for residents of China's neighbouring Guangdong province travelling to the gambling island, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A spokesperson for the Division of Exit and Entry Administration in Guangdong's Public Security Bureau said that effective October 1st individuals could receive a visa only once every two months. Previously Chinese travellers to Macau could obtain a visa once a month.

Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal, and stricter travelling restrictions could significantly impact revenue. In September, Macau authorities reported that gambling revenue had more than doubled, attributing the improvement at least in part to more lenient travel restrictions.

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