The total number of licensed gaming promoters in Macau – either entities or individuals also known as ‘junkets’ – shrank by 45.9 percent over the past 12 months. The fall marks the ninth consecutive year of decline in the number of licensed junkets in the Macau market, showed the official data.
The total fell from 85 in January 2021 to 46 this year, according to the latest updated list of licensed operators published on Wednesday by the city’s gaming regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
Some of the major junket brands in the Macau market, Tak Chun, Meg-Star International and Golden Group, remain in this year’s list of licensed entities.
The gaming regulator did not provide in its latest announcement an explanation for the decrease in licensed junkets
Around January each year, the gaming regulator publishes in Macau’s Official Gazette 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.
Macau’s casino junket sector has been in the spotlight since the detention in November of Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, and the shutdown of his junket brand Suncity Group, described previously by investment analysts as the largest VIP operator in the city.
Following the closure of all Suncity Group VIP rooms in Macau on December 1, it was reported that a number of the city’s casino concessionaires were to cease collaboration with other junket brands. At least three of the city’s six operators - Wynn Macau Ltd, Melco Resorts Entertainment Ltd and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd – have confirmed to GGRAsia that junkets had ceased operations at their respective properties in Macau
A bill to amend Macau’s gaming law also addresses fresh regulation for the city’s junkets. According to the document, each Macau junket will only be allowed in future to work with a single Macau casino concessionaire.
In addition, junkets will be forbidden to contract use of any part of a casino for operations in their own right. They will also be forbidden to share casino revenue, in any form or via any agreement, with any gaming concessionaire they work with, the draft bill says.
In Macau, junkets have historically been offered incentives to bring players to casinos, usually either via a share of the revenue generated, or via a commission on rolling chip turnover, with the latter customarily capped at 1.25 percent.
For full-year 2021, VIP gross gaming revenue (GGR) accounted for nearly 32.8 percent of aggregate casino GGR in Macau, at MOP28.49 billion (US$3.55 billion). That was down from a 43.5-percent market share in the prior year, according to official data.
In the three months to December 31, VIP accounted for only 25.7 percent of Macau’s aggregate GGR for the period.
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