The bill proposes changes to the legal framework for junket operations.
Macau.- The Legislative Assembly is expected to vote on Macau’s new junket law on December 15. The bill would allow junket operators to each work with only one casino operator. Individuals will no longer be licensed as intermediaries; only companies incorporated in Macau.
All junket applications will be decided by the Minister of Commerce and Finance rather than the gaming regulator, the DICJ. Junket operators and agents must open accounts with gaming franchises to deposit cash and chips related to gaming. The funds must be owned by an intermediary or agent.
Gaming concessionaires will be able to open personal accounts for players to deposit funds and chips, but all transactions must be documented and comply with anti-money laundering laws. Illegal deposit acceptance is punishable by two to five years in prison.
Another proposed licensing condition is that junkets must hold MOP10m (US$1.24m) in share capital in addition to a bank guarantee.
The current 46 licenced junket operators are expected to retain their licences after Macau’s new gaming concession takes effect on January 1, provided they sign an agreement with the franchisee. After 2024, the government will decide whether to change the total number of gaming junkets in Macau according to the development plan of the gaming industry.
Meanwhile, the judge presiding over the trial of former Suncity executives has heard final pleas and set January 18, 2023, as the date for the verdict. Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, the former CEO of Suncity (now LET Group Holdings Ltd), is indicted for allegedly leading a criminal group, money laundering, providing illegal gambling at licenced establishments and making illegal online and proxy bets.
In the last session, Chau said that Suncity was not a criminal syndicate or a triad and said his company helped improve the operational model of junket operators in Macau.
Chau said: “When we earned MOP100, we put MOP99 back into Macau society and economy… What kind of triad was [Suncity]?”