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May 2019

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Macau: Casinos turning to kidnap insurance policies

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Oct 2015

China’s slowing economy has led to an increase in bad debts at Macau casinos that in turn have resulted in high-rolling gamblers being kidnapped for being unable to pay their debts, so that family and friends would raise the money to set them free.
 
   Major hotels, resorts and casinos in Macau are consequently turning to kidnap insurance policies to guard against the abduction of wealthy or celebrity guests, reported the South China Morning Post.
 
   Mr Ashley Coles, an assistant director of credit, political and security risks at Jardine Lloyd Thompson, said that all major hotels and casino groups in Macau had expressed interest in specialist risk insurance to mitigate the fallout from any high-profile incident.
 
   The policies often allow for the deployment of crisis responders to diffuse the dispute in kidnappings, and protect casinos and hotels from legal liability which could lead to lawsuits by the victim or family members.
 
   Most perpetrators of illegal detentions on casino or hotel premises are seeking only payment of the unresolved debts rather than huge ransom demands and typically hold victims inside hotel rooms, Mr Coles said.
 
   The Macau government reports that as many as 170 people were held against their will in the first six months of this year – more than double the figure for the same period of 2014. The true total is likely to be much higher.
 
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