Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, also known as DICJ, on Monday said it would revise “as soon as possible” the Administrative Regulation No. 6/2002, which regulates the conditions and procedures for issuing a licence to a gaming promoter, also commonly known as a junket operator.
The revision will focus on implementing new requirements regarding the capital and shareholding structure of junket operators, introducing tighter rules on accounting and auditing. There is also the possibility of making public more information about the gaming promoters, such as the name of administrators, shareholders, key employees and collaborators, said the city’s gaming regulator.
The aim is to guarantee that the people involved with a junket operator are suitable, leading to more transparency in the sector, DICJ said in a statement.
The regulator additionally said that the government is also considering defining staff in charge of financial operations of gaming promoters as “key employees”, which means that these employees would have to go through a suitability check.
DICJ’s statement follows an alleged fraud that rocked the Macau VIP gambling segment a fortnight ago. Macau junket operator Dore Entertainment Co Ltd, which operates VIP facilities at Wynn Macau, announced it had been a victim of internal fraud by a former employee.
Dore said in a statement that a former cage manager “allegedly used her power to conduct unauthorised actions without the company’s knowledge”.
As of September 16, complaints made to police from those claiming to be investors in the cage operations of Dore involved at least HKD330 million (US$42.6 million).
The gaming regulator said on Monday that it would analyse in detail the city’s gaming legislation, “aiming to improve it and support the sustainable development of the gaming sector”.
DICJ reiterated that only credit institutions “which have been duly constituted and authorised” may operate a business involved in accepting deposits and other repayable funds from the public. “Illegally accepting deposits [from the public] is a criminal activity,” the bureau stated.
Several people claiming to be investors in the cage operations of Dore have made repeated public calls for help from the authorities to enable them to withdraw cash deposits placed with the junket operator.
It is common for junket operators in Macau to raise capital for their rolling chip programmes by offering private investors above-market interest rates for their deposits. Some media reports claim Dore was offering a 2 percent per month interest rate. Capital raised from such exercises is then typically used to extend credit to VIP players.
The gaming regulator stressed that junket operators must submit information about any administrator and shareholder holding capital of the company equal to 5 percent or above for a “suitability check”.
“Any shareholder or administrator that has not been subject of the suitability check by the government, will not be legally recognised,” DICJ said.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China