Macao’s junkets are eliminated because they feel burdened by costs and rules

Only three of Macau’s 18 game promoters (also known as junkets) are new to the market, with the rest being existing junkets that have operated for some time in the city and sought license renewal, Macao junket veterans Wu Yihong and Guo Chi-chung respectively said in comments to GGRAsia based on a review of the latest list announced this week.

The tally is much lower than the Macau government’s overall market cap of 50. Mr. U and Mr. Kwok say many previously for the sector have lost interest in trying to keep going amid high operating costs and strict regulatory environments.

Mr. U, head of a trade group at the Macao Gaming Promotion Professionals Association, told GGRAsia, “There were junket operators who were getting older and were no longer willing to work in this market or lacked the manpower to take on the business.”

He added: “Existing junkets related to the operation of the Macau satellite casino have also decided to quit the game promoter business.”

Macao’s satellite venues are third-party-owned venues that utilize game licenses from six concession operators in the city who wish to work with them.

U said Novo Clube VIP Legends, Sociedad Unipesol Lda, which worked with Macau Legend Development Limited, a gaming and hotel services group, and Joy Wave Diamond – Promotors de Jogos, Sociedad Unipesol Lda, which worked with the now-defunct Casino Diamond, are examples of satellite-related junkets excluded from the field.

Both junkets were on the January 2023 list of licensed game promoters issued by Macau casino regulator the Office for the Coordination of Game Inspection (DICJ) but were not on the 2024 list.

Mr. U also told GGRAsia: “There were other companies that were trying to continue operating as license junkets but got caught up in some lawsuits… And this is considered a [fitness] risk by [Macao] authorities.”

The size of Macau’s licensed junkets is not because “casino operators have lost interest in signing contracts with them,” although U has shrunk to historically low levels, the junket trade representative added.

“It’s a bigger problem with the junket sector facing high operating costs with a rigorous regulatory framework that includes full implementation of a 5% withholding tax on guarantees, equity capital and fees that the city government pays us without giving up,” U added.

Game Bureau data shows that in the heyday of the junket division about a decade ago, there were more than 200 licensed junkets.

Another local junket veteran, Mr Kwok, told GGRAsia that many people left because they could no longer “get enough customers” and were unable or unwilling to adapt to the new operating environment.

BY: 검빛경마

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