Junkets request details on Macau’s proposed new gaming laws

Macau’s gaming laws are being reviewed.
Macau’s gaming laws are being reviewed.

Kwok Chi Chung, president of a junket trade body, has asked for clarity on the government’s proposed changes to the city’s gaming laws.

Macau.- Concerns continue around the revision of the Macau’s gaming laws, including the possibility of increased oversight of concessionaires and junket operations. Now Kwok Chi Chung, president of the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters, has asked the government for more clarity.

Kwok said he has doubts about the proposals regarding the VIP junket segment and said junkets need clarity on what constitutes an illegal deposit. According to the proposal, people convicted of making illegal deposits will face up to five years in prison. 

In September, Ben Lee, managing partner of iGamiX Management & Consulting, said Macau could lose 80 per cent of its premium mass business due to the proposed changes. He’s opposed to the proposal to have elected “delegates” on Macau’s gaming concessions – a move designed to introduce greater checks on the activity of the gaming firms.

After a meeting with Macau’s six casino operatorsKu Mei Leng, chief-of-office at Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, said that the public authority didn’t have any “predetermined positions” as it was still collecting opinions from the industry regarding the proposed changes.

The junket industry in Macau has shrunk over the past eight years. Industry analysts said that travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic and China’s criminalisation of the organisation of “overseas gambling” have exacerbated the unfavourable factors that affected the industry. 

In Q3, VIP baccarat was down 29.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter, representing 32 per cent of total GGR.

According to analysts, the fourth quarter will be the worst of the year in Macau, with numbers expected to be down 97 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels after poor results during the October Golden Week 2021 due to local Covi-19 cases.

Macau gaming law consultation sessions rescheduled

Authorities in Macau have rescheduled the public consultation sessions on gaming laws that were cancelled due to the outbreak of local Covid-19 cases and Typhoon Kompasu. The public sessions will now be held between October 22 to 25 in morning and evening sessions to comply with social distancing regulations.

Lei Wai Nong, secretary for economy and finance, has said that the schedule for the consultation would continue for the planned 45 days.

After Macau’s gaming law revision is finished, there will be 180 days to write the final report, after which a draft will be submitted to the Legislative Assembly for additional conversation. 

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