Representatives from Macau’s gaming regulator met on Friday with the leadership of the city’s Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters, to discuss details related to Macau’s gaming law amendment bill. The meeting was confirmed to local media by Kwok Chi Chung, president of the junket trade group.
During the meeting, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau – also known by its Portuguese acronym DICJ – received feedback from junkets regarding the amendment bill, including some expressions of doubt regarding the implementation of certain proposed provisions. According to Mr Kwok, the DICJ representatives took note of the opinions presented by the group, but made no mention of potential changes to the bill.
The media reports did not say who were the representatives from DICJ attending the meeting.
One proposal in the amendment bill is that each Macau junket will only be allowed in future to work with a single Macau casino concessionaire. According to Mr Kwok, that was one of the issues raised during the meeting, with the junket trade group questioning the reasoning behind such restriction. He added that the group also asked what would be the procedures for a junket to change from an existing partner concessionaire to a new one.
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.
According to Mr Kwok, the group asked DICJ for details regarding the overall role envisioned for junkets in Macau’s gaming industry, under the changes proposed in the gaming law amendment bill.
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.
Macau had – during a peak period of VIP gaming business prior to 2014 – more than 200 licensed VIP gaming promoters. But the city has seen an annual decline in their number from 2014 onwards, to a low of 46 licensed gaming promoters as of January this year, according to official data.
Junkets historically have introduced high-value players to Macau casinos’ VIP gambling operations. But the junket sector has been in the spotlight since November following the detention of Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, and the shutdown of his junket brand Suncity Group. More recently has come the arrest of Levo Chan Weng Lin, boss of junket brand Tak Chun. Several among the city’s six casino operators have confirmed that junkets had ceased operations at their respective properties in Macau.
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Teo Chun Ching
Chief executive of Singapore’s Gambling Regulatory Authority