Macau says junkets will still be allowed

Some gaming operators have ended agreements with junkets.
Some gaming operators have ended agreements with junkets.

Lei Wai Nong has said that Macau’s legal framework allows for the relationship between gaming operators and junkets as long as everything is done according to the law.

Macau.- Lei Wai Nong, Macau’s secretary for economy and finance, has said that if “all legal requirements are met”, the VIP room agreements between junkets and gaming concessionaires will still be allowed in the future.

However, Lei said: “when they carry out gambling promotion activities they must respect Macau regulations and if they carry them outside the SAR they must respect the regulations of that jurisdiction.”

All VIP rooms operated by Suncity, one of the largest junket operators in Macau, were closed following the arrest of Alvin Chau and 11 others on December 1 on cross-border gambling and money laundering accusations. Wynn Macau is closing its junket-operated VIP room from today (December 20), and Sands China and Melco Crown Resorts are rumoured to be planning to follow suit.

Tak Chun, the second-largest junket operator in Macau, has confirmed that some casino operators have decided to temporarily suspend their partnerships. However, SJM Resorts and Galaxy Entertainment Group have said they will maintain their cooperation agreements with junket operators at least until the end of current contracts.

Lei said that the labour authorities had received notice from the gaming concessionaire that they had adjusted their agreement with junket operators. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has requested more details.

He added: “Gaming tables numbers also have changed but so far the information is still not very clear. 

As for those who have been affected by the closure of VIP rooms, Lei Wai Nong said: “We are mainly focused on the issue that VIP rooms closures do not impact croupiers, supervisors, security employees. As for the workers directly employed by junkets, we will proceed in the best way. That responsibility cannot be transferred to society.”

The Macau Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) has opened a special counter to assist employees affected by the closure of Suncity’s VIP rooms. Macau Business reported that the DSAL had received 461 assistance requests and have arranged special job matchmaking sessions for 200 people, with some 96 attending them.

The number of junket licences issued by the DICJ has been falling each year, from 235 in 2013 to 85 in 2021.

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