Macau junkets could become Vegas-style agents, analysts say

Authorities in Macau want to introduce a new regulatory system for junket operators in the city.
Authorities in Macau want to introduce a new regulatory system for junket operators in the city.

The Macau junket system could see changes if the new VIP gaming promoter law is approved.

Macau.- Professor Wang Changbin, director of the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies at Macao Polytechnic University, has told GGRAsia that junket operators could become mere agents in the future, introducing players to the city’s casinos. The relationship would then be directly managed by the casinos themselves.

He said the system would work like the independent agents that work in Las Vegas. There, independent agents not part of the casinos are authorised to deal with operators to bring in quality players. Inside the casinos themselves, casino hosts deal with the players.

Changbin added: “Most of the promotion business would be likely to pull out of mainland China due to the crackdown there, and turn to other markets such as Hong Kong, and to outside countries.”

The bill that proposes changes to the legal framework concerning junket operations aims to improve oversight of the industry. In the future Macau junket operators will only be able to work with one casino operator. Individuals will no longer be licensed as intermediaries; only companies.

The bill also provides criminal penalties for junkets who “illegally accept deposits from the public.” Offenders could face up to five years in prison.

Macau: VIP agent allegedly stole US$35.8m from casino VIP deposits

The Judiciary Police in Macau is investigating a sub-agent working in gambling junket promotions who failed to return nearly HKD280m (US$35.8m) from more than 200 deposit holders. Officers say the money was deposited in a casino VIP room over two years.

Police have not identified the junket operator who worked with the sub-agent nor the casino venue or location where the VIP business was conducted but says the sub-agent is believed to have been involved in gambling transactions in Macau from October 2019 to September last year.

An investigation began after 18 depositors reported that they were unable to recover deposits totalling MOP27m after the closure of a VIP room last year.

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GAMBLING REGULATION land-based casino Macau casinos