Macau casinos could be off-limits to off-hours junket staff


macau-casino-junket-staff-off-limitsMacau casino junket operator employees will be barred from local gaming floors if they’re not working, according to new rules proposed by Macau legislators.

This summer, Macau’s Legislative Assembly (AL) introduced new rules to prohibit casino staff from setting foot on a gaming floor during those employees’ non-working hours, effectively barring them from gambling in the special administrative region’s casinos. At the time, there was no mention that these rules would apply to junket staff.

On Tuesday, Macau Business quoted Ho Ion Sang, chairman of the AL’s first standing committee, saying that junket staff would now be included in the proposed Law No. 10/2012, joining croupiers, gaming machine operators and cashiers – as well those holding a variety of non-gaming positions such as security, cleaners and food & beverage workers – on the forbidden list.

The bill is set for further discussion in the AL on October 29 and one of the items to be discussed is whether to apply the ban to junket subagents, whose job it is to identify high net-worth individuals and steer them toward various junket operators.

On Wednesday, GGRAsia quoted Ho saying the junket industry’s representatives are “basically supportive” of the proposal to include junket staff in the no-go list. Ho claimed junket operators were interested in protecting their staff “from being too exposed to the gambling environment.”

Surveys have traditionally found Macau’s casino croupiers overrepresented in local problem gambling treatment programs. The majority of croupiers seeking help for their gambling issues reported significant gambling debts, prompting fears that they could be coerced into assisting scammers seeking to cheat the casinos.

Other croupiers have resorted to stealing from their place of work in order to honor their debts. The junkets have even more to fear from this type of internal theft, as evidenced by the truly astronomical sums that have gone missing from junket accounts over the years.