Macau nearly halves junket licenses amid gambling amendment bill discussions

Macau’s gaming regulator, the Office of Game Inspection and Coordination, has cut junk licensing at the world’s largest gaming center by nearly half.Amid discussions from officials about how to increase control over the sector. Wednesday, Only 46 licenses for Junkte casino aircraft have been approved to operate in the Chinese enclave, down from 85 in January 2021..

The most notable absentee from the list of approved junk planes is Sun City Gaming Promotion, part of the Suncity Group, which used to be the city’s largest operator of junk planes before halting operations last month. Following the arrest of Chairman and CEO Alvin Chao on allegations of money laundering and cross-border gambling.

Before closing the VIP game rooms, Suncity has captured more than 40% of the scrap market in Macau. Sun City, which in 2019 operated up to 17 VIP game rooms in Macau, was the first operator in the Junket Strip, which brings in big players – many of them from mainland China – to play in the city’s casinos.

Professor of gaming in Macau and former deputy Davis Fong, director of the Institute for the Study of Commercial Games at the University of Macau, explained that having a smaller list of unwanted aircraft would “help reduce problems” in the industry., reports Nikki Asia.

Davis Fong, Macau gaming professor.

“There will be more revenue or ‘normal’ income, and I think that’s more appropriate for Macau’s economy and its future directions,” he said.. “The work will be focused on only a few waste operators. I think that’s a good thing.”

In addition to Sun City, Another notable absentee is the heavyweight Guangdong Group, which was the third largest server operator in 2019. at the same time, Some other major unwanted brands, including Tak Chun Group, Meg-Star International and Golden Group, are set to retain their licenses. this year.

The reduction in the total number of unwanted vehicle licensing comes amid plans by officials to impose tighter control over the market, which is aimed largely at the big players from China, where gambling is prohibited. They are often given HK dollar gambling lines of credit, which can be paid back in Chinese yuan or in assets.

Gambling-related money flows into Macau have been under the watchful eye of Chinese officials for some time now. In 2020, the government described outflows as a “national security risk.” The junk market is seen as responsible for helping to steal billions of yuan offshore, which is a huge problem for a country that has always had strict controls on capital outflows.

Former Sun City boss Alvin Chau.

The new list of licensees also comes as Macau’s legislature debates proposed amendments to the pocket gambling law.. The AL passed its first reading of the bill on Monday, which is now due to be sent to the Standing Committee, where closed-door discussions are scheduled after the Chinese New Year holiday.

New gambling legislation seeks to reduce the role of gambling operators in the city’s casino industry. The bill states that casino operators will no longer be able to allocate unwanted rooms, and revenue-sharing arrangements between casinos and waste operators will be prohibited..

This means a major change in the gaming industry in Macau: In the past, junk mail operators had rooms inside casinos for all operatorsMost of them have been closed since Zhao’s arrest and China’s crackdown on the Strip.

While Macau will continue to issue junk licenses to approved VIP promoters, new legislation seeks to restrict it to working with only one franchisee.. Another measure provides for this Until the 10th of each month, gaming franchisees will need to provide details of the commissions paid to junks in the previous month., reports Macau Business.

Altogether, the best days of the garbage sector seem to be long overdue now: The current number of licensees is significantly lower than the largest number of authorized operators of 235 published in 2013.

But a significant decrease in the total revenue of VIP games can also be seen. For 2021, the junk mail market accounted for about 32.8% of the city’s total GGR casino at $3.55 billion, down from 43.5% in the previous year.. The latest data from the three months to December 31 shows that market share has fallen further to 25.7%.

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