Earlier this month, Macau casino workers’ union Forefront of Macau Gaming (FMG) used its social media channels to relay an internal communication from the junket operator informing staff that the shutdown would take effect on May 21.
Gold Moon told staff that the shutdown came at Wynn Macau’s request “despite rounds of negotiations.” Gold Moon put the blame on “the impact of the overall economic environment,” reflecting the fact that Macau will likely soon report its 24th straight month of declining gaming revenue, and the bulk of the pain has been borne on the VIP side.
The Wynn Macau exit follows Gold Moon’s closure of its VIP operations at Sands China’s Sands Cotai Central in January 2015. At the time, Gold Moon said it operated 12 VIP tables at Wynn Macau.
Gold Moon also said at the time that it continued to conduct VIP operations at Galaxy Entertainment Group’s Galaxy Macau, Macau Legend’s Pharaoh’s Palace Casino and Melco Crown Entertainment’s Altira Macau.
Gold Moon’s website still lists the Wynn Macau operation, along with its Galaxy and Altira business, and operations at Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila and Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore. Staff at Gold Room’s Altira Macau room told GGRAsia that it was business at usual.
Junkets have been taking a beating not only from declining VIP business, but also from Macau regulators increasing their oversight of the industry. There were 142 licensed junket operators as of Feb. 4, one more than in January, but still down 23% year-on-year.
According to a recent report by the Sanford C. Bernstein brokerage, 70% of Macau’s VIP market share is now controlled by just four junkets; SunCity Group, Guangong Group (aka Neptune), Golden Group and Tak Chun Group. SunCity alone is said to control 40% of the VIP market, twice the slice of nearest competitor Guangdong.