A plan to track credit issued to individual Macau VIP gaming patrons, via a project prepared by the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters, has been put on indefinite hold, the association’s president Kwok Chi Chung confirmed to GGRAsia. The key reason is the idea has not so far gained approval from Macau’s Personal Data Protection Office.
“There are still a lot of legal, technical issues to be resolved [over the database]…we are trying to adjust to the Personal Data Protection Office’s requirements,” Mr Kwok told us. His association is a trade body for Macau’s licensed gaming promoters, commonly known as junkets, that help coordinate most of the VIP play at the city’s casinos, as well as the issuance of credit for play and collection on player losses.
“One of the issues we have [with the office] is the entity that is [should be] authorised to operate and access the central credit database. Our original idea is that our association should be the unit that runs the database, but this is not accepted by the Office,” Mr Kwok told us. He did not give further details.
As long ago as 2016, at a panel discussion during the Macao Gaming Show trade event in the city that year, Mr Kwok had mentioned his association hoped to have its central credit database operating by calendar year 2017. In comments at the event he said high rollers would be requested – when applying for credit from junkets – to sign an authorisation form allowing disclosure of their credit details and the addition of such information to the database.
For the central credit database, Mr Kwok further remarked to us in his latest comments that his association had “no problem” regarding gaming patrons accessing the database system, as required by the Personal Data Protection Office.
“We are not hurrying on the issue [launching the credit database], but we’ll continue our discussion with the government to see how this plan can be realised,” Mr Kwok said.
“Even we are now with improved VIP gaming business in Macau, we are not giving up the database system plan,” the junket association’s president added.
Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in VIP segment expanded by 26.7 percent year-on-year to MOP150.67 billion for the full-year 2017. Several local junket firm representatives have recently spoken of having a positive outlook regarding the market’s VIP gaming earnings for this year.
The risk of bad debt is a constant issue for the Macau junket sector, as investment analysts have noted. There have additionally been anecdotal reports of players already blacklisted by one gaming promoter due to credit default, then registering with another and gaining fresh credit. This was said to be possible because junket organisations were not always sharing intelligence on such matters.
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Rate of VIP gross gaming revenue year-on-year growth in the second quarter of 2018 in Macau