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Wynn Wants Crackdown on Macau Loansharks

22 October 2003

HONG KONG -- Las Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn has called for a crackdown on triad-backed loansharking business in Macau and legislation allowing casinos to reduce taxable gambling revenues, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

"…In late August, Wynn said gambling reforms in the Chinese enclave must be enacted by year's end or Wynn Resorts will likely abandon its 20-year Macau venture under a concession signed in June last year.

"But Wynn said he `would wait' if Macau lawmakers fail to pass new regulations by December reforming the gambling practice, including suppression on loansharking business operated by the territory's notorious triad gangsters.

"Macau has already approved new laws allowing casinos to grant credit, but Wynn said he hoped the government would pass legislation allowing the operators to offset bad debts against taxes -- and thus reducing taxable gambling revenues.

"…Macau's triad gangsters used to routinely assassinate one another in turf wars before Portugal returned this former colony to China in December 1999. But the killings have largely stopped since the handover -- although their businesses, including loansharking, bookmaking and prostitution are believed to remain active…"

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