The Macau government has made public the maximum number of licensed gaming promoters – also known as ‘junkets’ – that each of the city’s casino operator will be able to work with in 2024. The aggregate number is capped at 50, according to information disclosed by the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ).
According to a list published in the regulator’s website, the local units of Sands China Ltd and SJM Holdings Ltd have each been allowed to collaborate with up to 12 junkets in 2024.
The subsidiaries of respectively MGM China Holdings Ltd and Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd can each work with up to eight junket operators next year. The local entities of Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd have each a cap of five junket partners for 2024.
The Macau junket system has involved other “stakeholders” called sub-agents – known under Macau’s regulatory system as “collaborators”. They are typically people with a network of contacts, that have been able to introduce high-value players so the junkets can then host them in a casino VIP room.
Information on the website of Macau’s gaming regulator shows the government has capped at 250 the number of collaborators allowed in the market for 2024. As of September 15, there were seven registered collaborators in the Macau market, and one additional licence being reviewed, according to DICJ data.
The tally of junkets in Macau shrank by 21.7 percent year-on-year, to 36 in January this year, showed 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.
Macau’s Legislative Assembly approved in December 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.
The Macau government has the authority to limit the scale of the Macau junket sector by capping annually the number of junket operators each Macau casino concessionaire is entitled to work with. Contracts between junkets and casino concessionaires also need to be approved by the Macau government.
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.
Under the new framework, junkets have also been forbidden to contract use of any part of a casino for operations in their own right.
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