Two of Macau’s six casino operators have confirmed that all junkets stopped operations at their respective venues earlier this month.
Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd says “all gaming promoters have ceased operations” at its City of Dreams venue (pictured) and its Studio City resort in the city, “with effect from 00:00 on December 21, 2021”. That was a reference to companies offering VIP junket services to players, that in Macau must be licensed by the Macau government.
Melco Resorts’ confirmation of the ending of junket operations was carried on the respective websites of those two Macau properties, both in Cotai. Altira Macau, a third Macau property run by Melco Resorts in the Taipa district, was said in July to be already in the process of ceasing VIP play, and shifting to so-called premium mass.
Separately, market rival operator Wynn Macau Ltd told GGRAsia on Tuesday: “There are no junket promoters currently operating at Wynn.”
The latter company runs Wynn Macau on the city’s peninsula, and Wynn Palace in Cotai. The firm is controlled by United States-based Wynn Resorts Ltd.
On December 20, on the sidelines of a public event, Linda Chen, Wynn Macau Ltd’s vice-chairman and chief operating officer, said the firm would terminate all its agreements with junket operators by the end of this year. Ms Chen said at the time that the third-party managed VIP rooms would be converted into mass-market venues or for other purposes.
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd said in a Tuesday email to GGRAsia that it currently had no updates to share, regarding junket operations at its properties.
Macau’s other three casino licensees: MGM China Holdings Ltd; Sands China Ltd; and SJM Holdings Ltd, had not replied to GGRAsia by the time this story went online.
In early December, Angela Leong On Kei, an executive director at SJM Holdings, had told local media that group had ongoing “contractual relationships” with Macau VIP gaming promoters.
Macau’s casino junket sector has been in the spotlight since the detention in Macau 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.
Macau’s gaming regulator had on December 1 confirmed the closure of all Suncity Group VIP rooms in the city. The suspension came after Mr Chau was detained on November 27 on suspicion of organising illegal gambling for Chinese customers, including online gambling via the Philippines.
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