The first set of Dealer-Oriented Electronic Table Game Technical Standards published by the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) in 2017 has now come into full effect from January 1, 2018.
New Standards To Give Asian Gamblers More Confidence
The document outlines the first set of regulations for dealer-operated ETGs, a multi-terminal betting system where a live dealer is present to draw cards, roll the dice, or spin a roulette wheel, while an electronic machine handles bet placement and credit transactions. These kinds of games continue to be popular in Macau’s casinos where Asian play is dominant. The new standards should give Asian players more confidence as they have shown a tendency in the past to be suspicious towards fully automated machines.
Dealer-operated ETGs, especially stadium style live-dealer ETGs where a dealer is broadcasted on the screen for a “table” of as much as 60 people, have seen lucrative profits in the past years. Since one casino staff member can service rows of ETGs via a live broadcast, it is more cost-efficient for the operators.
EGT’s Expected To Boost Macau Casino Revenue
It also serves as a backdoor for Macau’s casinos to earn lucratively despite the live-dealer table cap. Back in January 2013, Macau first introduced a cap on the number of live-dealer tables that a casino had to comply with. Since live-dealer ETGs can seat up 50 to 60 people and still be counted as one traditional gaming table, operators can essentially gain better yield per table even at lower minimum bets compared to traditional nine-player tables.
This kind of play style is also preferred by players who are looking for the fast action and anonymity of the terminals. This is why Macau’s ETG boom has led to the creation of these new standards.
According to the new set of standards, all dealer-operated ETGs must be certified by a Macau-accredited testing laboratory before they submit an application to the DICJ for approval. This applies to all electronic gaming products where there is a need for a live dealer or any significant human interaction to start play.
Messages displayed on the player terminals must also appear in both English and Mandarin.  Certain game play information must also be included and be visible to the player at all times. Information such as current credit balance, current bet amount, the denomination of the current game being played, results from the last completed game, amount won for the last completed game, and a disclaimer which says malfunction of the machine voids all plays.
Multi-game dealer-operated ETGs have also seen a sharp rise in revenues. From MOP895 million (US$111.2 million) in 2012, these multi-game terminals have raked in almost MOP1.81 billion in the first nine months of 2017 alone. Because of this, DICJ has specifically included standards for these terminals. According to the document, there will be no limit on the number or the type of games that can be offered by the multi-game ETGs. Patrons who use the multi-game ETGs for concurrent play have also been addressed and no maximum number of games have been set.
New 2018 EGT Regulations
The DICJ aims to specify these requirements and controls to ensure that the operation of dealer-operated ETGs remain fair, secure, auditable, and reliable, just like many of the gaming options and terminals that run in casinos. While the new regulations could draw its own share of critics, the document emphasizes that it does not aim to unreasonably limit technology applications to gaming equipment, limit marketability, limit creativity or variety of choice, give an unfair advantage to any single supplier or manufacturer, preclude research and development of new technology, or mandate a single solution or method to realize its objective of fair and secure gambling.
Currently, LT Game, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Paradise Entertainment, holds the majority of live dealer multi-game installations in Macau. LT Game also claims to have the only patented multi-terminal betting system that is used for live baccarat in Macau.
The chairman of Paradise Entertainment Ltd, Jay Chun, expressed his approval of the new rules and believes that all of their machines will be able to comply easily with the technical standards. In a statement, Chun said, “We are delighted to see the release of the standards, setting out objective standards and requirements for the dealer-operated ETG machines. In future, we will continue to launch new dealer-operated ETG machines and other electronic gaming equipment and systems to provide casinos with more diversified and upgraded products.”

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