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The Real Reason For Visa Restrictions

According to the New York Times, one of the main reasons for the visa restrictions was government officials who had gambling problems.

China had tried repeatedly to clamp down on gambling by public officials but had never had much success until hitting on the idea of limiting visas. The new visa regulations, which went into effect last summer, limit mainland officials to just one trip every three months, and for no more than seven days, and have been highly effective, gambling analysts and scholars say.

More at New York Times

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Comments & Discussion:

I do not mean to bang a gong here (no pun meant either), but while this explains somewhat the visa situation, it does not convince me of the conventional wisdom "Macau business is down because visas are down".

If your gambling thousands of US$ at a time, I find it hard to believe you cannot spare a few hundred to get a local Chinese immigration official to find you a...er...um "exception" to the visa rules. Likewise the junketeers trying to encourage "discovery" of such.

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