The total number of licensed gaming promoters in Macau – also known as junkets – shrank by 10.6 percent over the past 12 months.
The total fell from 141 in January 2016 to 126, according to a list of licensed operators published on Wednesday by the city’s gaming regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. The figure includes both companies and individuals licensed as junkets.
In January 2015, Macau had a total of 183 licensed junkets.
The gaming regulator did not provide on Wednesday an explanation for the decrease in licensed junkets. Last week, the director of the gaming bureau, Paulo Martins Chan, had already hinted at the decline. He said it was partly due to the bureau not renewing the permits of some junkets that failed its inspection of their financial accounts.
Gaming promoter licences are issued or renewed by the local regulator on an annual basis.
Over the past three years, Macau recorded a net reduction of more than 90 in the number or licensed junkets, show official data.
According to investment analysts covering the Macau gaming industry, the decline in the number of junkets is connected in part to stricter operating rules for the sector. These began to be implemented from 2015, following an alleged fraud case amounting to tens of millions of U.S. dollars that rocked the Macau VIP gambling segment. At the time, Macau junket operator Dore Entertainment Co Ltd, an operator of VIP facilities at the Wynn Macau casino hotel, announced it had been a victim of internal fraud by a former employee.
Another factor putting pressure on junkets is the ongoing slowdown in high roller play. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) in VIP baccarat – a segment heavily reliant in Macau on junket operators – fell by 6.9 percent in 2016 across the whole Macau market, to approximately MOP118.96 billion (US$14.87 billion), according to official Macau government data published earlier this month. GGR in VIP baccarat has declined for two consecutive years after peaking at MOP238.52 billion in 2013.
The softening casino business environment in Macau – described by investment analysts as partly due to China’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign – has led several junket operators to cut back their operations in the city. Many junkets shut down VIP rooms during 2015 and 2016. Some have started to explore opportunities in other regional markets, including the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Apr 28, 2017The Macau government has announced a series of measures to cope with an expected increase in visitor arrivals during the May 1 holiday period. Mainland Chinese citizens are likely to be able to enjoy...
Apr 28, 2017
Apr 28, 2017
Apr 27, 2017
Nov 23, 2016Hong Kong-listed casino equipment supplier Paradise...
Oct 27, 2016As Studio City – the US$3.2-billion, 2015 addition to...
May 26, 2016Macau’s pacapio Chinese lottery game will celebrate its...
May 18, 2016Russia-based Diamond Fortune Holdings Ltd says it has big...
Dec 31, 2015The year 2016 could see the coming of age of “destination...
"After a challenging period, the Macau market is growing again, and its growth rate has been accelerating for three consecutive quarters. Our Macau operation is experiencing strong growth in both our mass gaming and non-gaming segments"
Chairman of gaming operator Las Vegas Sands and subsidiary Sands China