|This year’s Asian Online Gaming event in Macau has today been postponed as a direct result of the Gambling Amendment Ordinance that came into effect last Friday (31st May 2002), effectively banning offshore betting from Hong Kong. |
This established international event was due to take place on the 18th & 19th June at the Macau Cultural Centre and Mandarin Oriental Hotel but has now been postponed until the implications of the Ordinance have been more fully analysed and understood.
Although the legislation appeared to present minimal risk for conference attendees, the organisers of the event (UK-based Revolution Events) have experienced an unprecedented level of last-minute cancellations from delegates, speakers and exhibitors – all citing concerns about visiting a high profile conference so near to Hong Kong while the regulatory change is still in its infancy.
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Rich Tribe, Joint Managing Director of Revolution Events, reveals: “ In early-May, we had around 50-60 reservations from many of the key players in the region and we usually double our bookings in the last few weeks before an event. However, since the new legislation was approved, we have received a steady stream of withdrawals and cancellations – including several of our key speakers for the event. “
“ At best, the result would have been a rather uninspiring affair, “ Tribe continues,
“ So we really had no choice but to postpone the event until the dust settles in Hong Kong. We will then have to reassess the situation before deciding where to run the rescheduled event and would like to offer our sincerest apologies to anyone that was still planning to join us in Macau. “
“ Ironically, the confusion in Asia seems to be increasing the level of interest in our next London event in November this year, which is focused very specifically on the relaxation of gambling laws in the United Kingdom and the government’s efforts to establish the UK as one of the world’s leading e-gaming jurisdictions. “
More information on European Online Gaming on 13th & 14th November 2002 in London can be found at www.europeanonlinegaming.com.