Macau’s VIP gaming promoter bill will allow non-resident junket collaborators

Macau will not look at revising gaming legislation until the second half of 2021.
Macau will not look at revising gaming legislation until the second half of 2021.

Committee chairman Andrew Chan Chak Mo has revealed that junket operators’ sub-agents can be non-residents.

Macau.- New clarifications have emerged about Macau’s bill on junket businesses and satellite casinos. Andrew Chan Chak Mo, chairman of the Legislative Assembly’s 2nd Standing Committee, which is analysing the bill, said non-resident junket collaborators would be allowed as long as they comply with Macao Labor Law and the conditions to legally stay in the city.

However, he acknowledged that this was the committee’s interpretation of the bill and not an official government pronouncement.

Chan said: “They might not be residents but must prove suitability. There could be flexibility for non-residents to become collaborators. Let’s say the client is Russian and they might ask someone who speaks Russian to provide support.”

Chan also said that collaborators will be able to work with more than one junket operators, since operators will be considered as freelancers. However, he clarified that collaborators will have to sign a contract with the operator or operators of their choice and that this contract must be presented to future gaming concessionaires.

According to Chan, this would allow the government to obtain more information about collaborators’ required tax returns. The bill also establishes that collaborators will not be allowed to offer loans or request cash or gaming chip deposits from players, either personally or via a third party.

According to the Macau Post Daily, the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) will set a 12-month cap on the number of junket operators by October 31 of each year, and a cap on the number of junket operators per gaming franchisee by November 30 of each year. 

This last point raised some doubts among committee members about how authorities will define the number of junkets.

In the first reading30 MPs voted in favour while one voted against the bill. The responsible committee may propose amendments. The bill will then be sent back to the General Assembly for its final reading.

85.1% of former junket operator staff in Macau remain unemployed

The Integrated Service Centre of the Macau Gaming Industry Employees Home has published the results of a survey revealing that 85.1 per cent of former junket operator employees remain unemployed after the majority of VIP rooms closed their doors.

Meanwhile, 8.1 per cent found jobs at non-gaming companies, 3.8 per cent were working with gaming operators or other junket companies and 1.9 per cent had started their own companies. The rest are either seeking to pursue further education or not looking for a job.

According to the poll, the top three reasons why former junket employees failed to find new jobs were a lack of job openings due to poor economic conditions, a lack of diversity in their work experience and a lack of professional skills.

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