Although online casinos continue to thrive in Ireland and other European countries it appears from reports in the Irish casino news that all is not well in China and in Macau in particular. Macau is the only place in China where casinos are legal and it has already overtaken Las Vegas in terms of size with at least another 8 casinos being planned for the coming years but there are a number of factors which according to Irish casino news reports have made October the worst month on record. Firstly, although nobody admits anything, casino gambling in Macau has always been a way for wealthy Chinese to convert dubious money into honest money (we call it money laundering in our country) but the new President Xi Jinping has been having a crackdown on corrupt local government officials meaning that many are more reluctant to expose themselves as being wealthy to avoid an investigation into where the wealth comes from. Mr Xi is also reported in the casino news for placing restrictions on the credit cards that have often been used to get round currency regulations. Add to this the fact the most popular way to get to Macau is via Hong Kong being a relatively short ferry ride away but visitor numbers have dropped dramatically there due to the student demonstrations and the subsequent difficulty and it is clear to see why trouble for the casinos is in the casino news. Online casinos can also not be the answer in China as they are also illegal and much easier for the Government to control than people taking wads of cash across borders. It remains to be seen whether this is a permanent situation or a temporary blip but the Irish casino news also reports that a smoking ban was introduced in casinos in Macau in October and we all know that smoking and tea drinking are commonplace in Macau casinos.