Macau Gambling Deadbeats Targeted by Online Website

macau-casino-debt-collectionDeadbeat gamblers in the Orient are being targeted with humiliation as a controversial new website, Wonderful World in English, promises to publicly call out deadbeat gamblers. The deadbeat gamblers are victimizing casinos in Macau, the only part of China allowing casinos. Just last year, Macau casinos reeled in more than $38 billion from gambling. Almost three-quarters of that total comes from whales in the top-scale VIP section, so casinos are interested in recouping losses from those who skip out on gambling debts. While the novel site is up and running successfully, it, in turn, is coming under scrutiny from the Chinese government.

A bilingual site in English and Chinese, Wonderful World says it has gotten back 50 million yuan, or about GBP 5.15 million from deadbeat Macau gamblers. The site says it has the names of 70 million Chinese gamblers who have skipped out on some portion of gambling debts. The amounts in question range all the way to millions of yuan from as little as a few thousand. The site prominently exhibits the pictures of gamblers with bad debts along with their birthdate and marital information. Rewards are offered for help locating the deadbeats. The strategy is intriguing and unique in China, but the Chinese government is taking a close look at whether Wonderful World is going too far. The local territorial government is examining privacy issues related to the site while police are checking into legal status of the site. Collecting gambling debts is against the law in China. So, the 35 Macau casinos rely on the tour companies and agents bringing VIP gamblers to the territory to collect bad debts. The top tour companies specialize in giant packages, sometimes with thousands of gamblers at one time and lend millions of yuan to the gamblers as part of the tour.

Wonderful World launched in 2012 as an entreatment news site. In June 2013, the site started the deadbeat gambler hit list. Creditors give the site the information, which posts the photos and information at no charge. the names of gamblers judged to be more than 90 percent unlikely to repay the debt are turned over to Wonderful World. However, the site gets a percentage of the money that is recovered. Police are putting together preliminary findings to decide whether to take any action against the set, sources said. Wonderful World officials were cooperating in the investigation.