Macau legislators think VIP gaming promoter bill is too strict

30 legislators voted in favour of the bill on VIP gaming promoters.
30 legislators voted in favour of the bill on VIP gaming promoters.

Legislators have raised concerns about a proposed rule that states the share capital of junket operators must not fall below MOP10m (US$1.2m).

Macau.- Committee chairman Chan Chak Mo has revealed that some legislators have concerns about the government’s proposal to increase the minimum registered capital of junket operators from MOP100,000 to MOP10m.

According to a report from TDM, legislators also want an explanation of proposals for the the size of Macau’s junket industry to be considered before issuing or renewing licences – a measure that could create problems for junkets already licensed or in the process of applying for a licence.

Macau’s Legislative Assembly approved the first reading of the new bill on junket businesses and satellite casinos last week. In the first reading, 30 MPs voted in favour and one against. However, some of the legislators who spoke at the debate questioned the viability of satellite casinos continuing to operate under the proposed framework. They raised concerns that local employment could be affected as a result.

According to a press release from the executive committee, the bill aims to improve oversight of the industry. It would allow junket operators to each work with only one casino operator. Individuals will no longer be licensed as intermediaries; only companies.

Chan Chak Mo said a revised version of the general gaming law amendment is expected by the end of next week.

Macau casinos may have to cover US$6.37bn in junket debts

The clampdown on junket operators in Macau has spawned another potential blow for casinos. Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) has revealed that Macau casino operators could be jointly liable for up to HKD50m (US$6.37bn) in outstanding liabilities and uncollected debts following the sudden closure of Suncity Group and Tak Jun‘s junket operations.

Its estimate of the operator’s liability is based on a 50 per cent cut of a possible HKD100bn total industry-wide liability. The lower figure is because some agents were unable to travel to Macau to recover funds, possibly due to lack of documentation, and some recovered money over the past two years. Credit Suisse said it believes the Macau government was able to recover a small amount of cash before junket-operator cooperations ended.

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