The total number of licensed gaming promoters in Macau – also known as ‘junkets’ – shrank by 21.7 percent over the past 12 months. The fall marks the tenth consecutive year of decline in the number of licensed junkets in the Macau market, showed the official data.
The total fell from 46 in January 2022, to 36 this year, according to the latest updated list of licensed operators published by the city’s gaming regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. The announcement did not explain the reasons leading to the decrease.
Around January each year, the gaming regulator publishes a list with the names of all junkets licensed to operate in the city’s casinos. Back in January 2013, Macau had a total of 235 licensed junkets, according to the data kept on record. In early 2021, the market had 85 licensed junkets, as per official data.
Gaming promoters are licensed by the Macau government to support VIP gaming in the city’s casinos. Their services include: arrangement of gambling credit for players; collection on losses generated by high-roller play; and organisation of player accommodation.
A number of the 36 currently-licensed gaming promoters had been operating in the Macau market last year, such as Pacific Intermediário Sociedade Unipessoal Lda, Novo Clube VIP Legend, and Haishen Grupo Lda.
Macau’s Legislative Assembly approved last month a consolidating bill that regulates the licensing and activities of casino junket operators. The document states that individuals would no longer be licensable as junkets; only companies.
Each Macau junket is allowed to partner with a single gaming concessionaire. The junket operators are allowed to earn commission – capped at 1.25 percent on rolling chip turnover – for their gaming promotion service, but are banned from sharing casino revenue in “any form” with the casino concessionaire with which they work.
The share capital of a junket firm should be no less than MOP10 million (US$1.2 million), and at least 50 percent of this capital has to be held by a Macau permanent resident aged 21 years or above.
Casino junket operators in Macau have to pay a guarantee of MOP1.50 million for their licence, according to a recent dispatch from the city’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong.
The deposit aims to guarantee that a company applying for a junket licence complies with the payment of costs arising from the verification of its suitability and financial capacity; other legal obligations; and the eventual payment of any fines that might arise “from the exercise of the game promotion activity,” according to Macau’s amended gaming law.
The junket sector saw a major drop off in business, coinciding with the high-profile detention – in November 2021 and January last year respectively – of two of the biggest junket bosses: Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, of the Suncity brand, and Levo Chan Weng Lin, of the Tak Chun brand, on separate allegations of running illegal gambling operations.
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