EGM Technical Standards 2.0 may not arrive in Macau as initially planned as some of the major operators are planning to request Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) to consider a two-year deadline extension, reported Inside Asia Gaming.
Industry May Ask for an Extension
EGM Standards 2.0 which was published in early 2021 is set to update Macau’s standards related to the operation of electronic gaming machines, EGM Standards 1.1, which was released in 2014.
Under the timeline for implementation adopted by the DICJ, operators should be fully compliant with the new rules by the end of 2024 but an industry panel during the 2022 MGS Summit last week heard representatives of some of the major suppliers such as Aristocrat Leisure, Light & Wonder and IGT talk about a possible two-year extension of the implementation deadline.
Aristocrat’s general manager for Asia, Lloyd Robson, told the panel that the company’s original understanding was that all compliance should be in place by the end of 2024, suggesting that this deadline may be pushed further in coordination with the DICJ.
Preparation Work Ongoing
Robson then outlined the work Aristocrat has done in the past 18 months to implement the new standards within the new games the company has launched in the last quarter, as well as the collaboration with partner properties “to create a game portfolio from existing games to help them become compliant in the future.”
Another major supplier, Light & Wonder, is also advancing with the implementation of the new standards according to Ken Jolly, vice president and managing director for Asia, who outlined the work done on upgrading the Dualos X cabinets and the portfolio of games available for the upgraded cabinets.
Jolly also noted that the supplier has a new game based on its new Kascada cabinet approved and is ready “to move forward with upgrading casinos in Macau as soon as the concessionaires have their licenses renewed.
Speakers at the panel also suggested that it would be better if the regulator considers a phasing in for the new rules over the next four years, like for example setting a requirement for 25% of Macau’s casino floors to be compliant each year starting from the end of 2023, requiring 100% compliance at the end of 2026 only.
The suggestion is contrasting with the current rules which require all casino floors to have at least 40% of machines compliant with the new standards by December next year, going up to 100% compliance on December 31, 2024, while any machines that are not compliant by that date would be switched off and withdrawn.