Macau Introduces Clocks to Promote Responsible Gambling

Macau has introduced a rule that by the end of 2024, all player screens on casino slot machines must have an intermittently flashing clock showing the local time. The requirement is part of Macau’s Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) Technical Standards 2.0, which came into force at the beginning of the month.

All slot machines must have an intermittently flashing clock

EGM is used specifically to refer to slot machines, while electronic table games (ETGs) have their own technical standards.

The Macau regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, said that the requirement is to promote responsible gambling. The aim is for the clock to remind players of how much time they have spent at the machine.

Gaming equipment makers now have a grace period of just over three years to retroactively fit all of their machines with the necessary software and to ensure that any new machines that are manufactured will have a clock feature as standard.

The clock on the slot machines will be in a 12-hour format, and it should be displayed at the bottom-right corner of the player main screen. It must flash at the start of each play session and after that, at least once every 10 minutes for the duration of the session.

The new technical standards also specify that the player screen and other interface points must not have any hidden touchpoints or buttons that affect gameplay. It is thought that this is a response to developments in touchscreen technology.

While it is not entirely clear what this requirement is referring to, section 4.5 (3) of the new standards state, “There shall be no hidden or undocumented touchpoints or buttons anywhere on the player interface that affect gameplay and/or that impact the integrity or outcome of the game, except as provided for by the game rules.”