SJM Holdings and Galaxy Entertainment Group have revealed that they will maintain their cooperation agreements with junket operators at least until the end of current contracts.
Macau.- Junket operators have received some relief. Amid speculation that it may be the end for the sector, two Macau casino operators have said they will continue working with junket operators, at least for now.
Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao has reported that Ambrose So, SJM’s CEO and Deputy Chairman, has confirmed the casino operator will maintain the VIP room business operated by junkets at least for the duration of existing contractors. However, it remains to be seen if the company will continue working with junkets once the cooperation contracts come up for renewal.
Angela Leong On Kei, SJM Holdings co-chairman and executive director, said during an interview with the city’s public broadcaster TDM: “We have not made any agreements with the junkets’ VIP rooms regarding ending collaboration.”
Meanwhile, Galaxy Entertainment Group, has said it also intends o continue with current cooperation contracts despite recent news.
Yesterday Tak Chun, the second-largest junket operator in Macau, has confirmed that some casinos have suspended partnerships. It came after Suncity Group Holdings decided to close all of its VIP rooms in Macau until further notice following the arrest of Alvin Chau Cheok Wa on cross-border gambling and money laundering accusations.
Tak Chun said its affected employees will receive higher compensation than that contemplated by the Labour Relations Law, including one month’s additional basic salary, seniority compensation, provident funds-for employees who have served for three years-and unapplied paid annual leave.
Credit Suisse also revealed Wynn Macau plans to close all of its VIP rooms from December 20. Other operators are reviewing their positions but have not taken decisions.
Gaming operators will terminate agreements with junkets, analysts say
Analysts at Morgan Stanley believe that more gaming concessionaires will terminate their agreements with junkets, effectively ending the industry in the city even if the authorities have not formally ordered a ban. All junkets licences in the city will expire on December 31. However, according to Morgan Stanley, if gaming operators cut contact with junkets, the industry may be brought to an end without official government orders.
The number of junket licences issued by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has been falling each year, from 235 in 2013 to 85 in 2021.
In 2019, Suncity accounted for more than 45 per cent of the junket market, while Tak Chun accounted for about 19 per cent. VIP revenue that year was approximately US$14bn.