VIP gambling rebound has Macau junkets in expansionist mode


macau-meg-star-junket-wynn-macauMacau’s resurgent VIP gambling market has casino junket operators back in expansionist mode following the sector’s lengthy period of retrenchment.

On Friday, GGRAsia reported that the Tak Chun Group junket planned to launch a new VIP gambling club at MGM China’s MGM Macau casino on Monday. The club will reportedly encompass 12 gaming tables spread across six rooms.

A little over one year ago, Tak Chun announced it had “suspended” its operations at MGM Macau, which reportedly totaled around 15 VIP tables, along with plans to relocate these tables to Sands China’s shiny new Parisian Macao property.

While Tak Chun usually plays coy with the size of its overall Macau operations, in November 2016 company CEO Levo Chan claimed that the junket operated 13 VIP clubs – including a new club with nine VIP tables at Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s Studio City resort – offering roughly 200 tables in total.

Tak Chun isn’t the only junket increasing its Macau presence. Meg-Star International unveiled its new VIP club at Wynn Resorts’ Wynn Macau last week, which includes nine tables in five VIP rooms.

Meg-Star now operates five VIP gaming clubs in Macau, including the launch in April of a new club at Wynn Palace. Meg-Star claimed the launch was part of its “vigorous expansion” in Macau’s VIP gambling market. Meg-Star also has junket ops in Singapore, South Korea, the Philippines and Australia.

Macau authorities have been keeping a tighter rein over the junket industry, and the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) recently concluded its audit of the special administrative region’s 126 licensed VIP gaming promoters.

According to DICJ director Paulo Martins Chan, the audit uncovered “some deficiencies” in “less than 10” junkets. However, these issues were primarily related to junkets “not having registered properly” and the affected operators were expected to resolve their issues by the end of the year.

Chan also said the DICJ has no plans to institute a licensing system for so-called VIP gaming ‘collaborators’ aka junket sub-agents who help identify and recruit high-rolling gamblers, although the DICJ may publish lists of the names of these collaborators.