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Macau ATMs Dispensing HK$10 Billion Each Month

ATM machines in Macau are keeping busy, with the total amount of cash withdrawn reaching HK$10 billion a month, in what could be a new boom in casino revenue after years of declining numbers.

According to a report in Business Insider, the increased withdrawals at ATMs has prompted the monetary chiefs in Macau to order banks to make sure the 1,300 ATM machines in the city are always full of cash.

The report noted the Monetary Authority of Macau wouldn’t deny or confirm the amount that is being withdrawn from ATMs each month, but a source with knowledge of the situation told The South China Morning Post: “The amounts are eye-watering — HK$10 billion a month is a conservative estimate. The banks have been told to make sure every ATM is monitored on a 24/7 basis, so as soon as cash levels get low, a team is ready to fill the machine back up, on a 24/7 basis,” Business Insider stated.

In December, the monetary chiefs in Macau lowered by half the amount that can be withdrawn from ATMs via a single transaction, but the report noted it hasn’t done much to ease the pressure on cash withdrawals via ATMs. Business Insider noted the Monetary Authority of Macau did not say if it told all banks to put in place systems that operate around the clock to ensure the ATMs never run out of cash, opting instead to point to a press release that was issued earlier in the year during the Lunar New Year.

“Relevant measures were implemented for the second time during [Lunar] New Year to facilitate the spending of Macau residents during the long holidays. These measures have been implemented … and they are much welcomed by the residents,” a spokesman said, according to the report. “With the aim of strengthening cooperation among government departments and financial institutions in Macau and the mainland, a joint meeting was hosted by the monetary authority and co-organized by the Financial Intelligence Office of Macau in November 2014. The exchange of views focused on cross-border criminal activities related to the use of mainland bank cards and POS (point of service) machines in Macau.”

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