Macau casino operators potentially facing heavy junket liabilities

Home » Macau casino operators potentially facing heavy junket liabilities

Global investment bank Credit Suisse Group AG has reportedly warned that the six casino operators in Macau could be on the hook for up to $6.37 billion in aggregated agent claims following the recent demise of the enclave’s two largest junket firms.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, this counsel follows the implosion of Asian junket giant Suncity Group after the late-November arrest of its boss, Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, on charges that he had facilitated illegal cross-border gambling and money laundering. The source detailed that this subsequently led the city’s sextet of casino firms to cancel their cooperation deals with rival junket enterprise Tak Chun Group.

Facilitation function:

Junket firms in Macau reportedly receive a commission for promoting partner casinos to wealthy foreign gamblers while simultaneously handling such VIP’s travel, accommodation and banking or credit needs for amounts that can often run into the millions of dollars. However, the number of such concerns has purportedly been steadily declining since 2013 owing to a changing market landscape and the fact that authorities have become increasingly interested in these operation’s suspected links to unscrupulous individuals and organized crime syndicates.

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Crucial conclusion:

Credit Suisse Group AG analysts Sardonna Fong, Lok Kan Chan and Kenneth Fong reportedly used a Thursday filing to declare that Macau’s casino concessionaires could now be liable for ‘sizeable agents claims’ of between $3.82 billion and $6.37 billion. The inquisitors purportedly noted that this forecast comes after a local November ruling found casino operator Wynn Macau Limited and junket promoter Dore Entertainment Company Limited jointly liable for a VIP customer debt worth approximately $765,000.

Legislative landscape:

The Credit Suisse Group AG trio reportedly disclosed that this decision along with a similar verdict against MGM China Holdings Limited in February means that casino operators in Macau are to now be held accountable for any player debts run up by defunct junket firms. This tail-end risk will purportedly be officially confirmed if the tenets of the enclave’s draft gaming law are fully approved later this year while the legislation would moreover make it illegal for junkets to accept customer deposits for any other purpose other than buying chips for a particular venue.

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Reportedly read a statement from the Credit Suisse Group AG trio…

“The two recent high court rulings hold casinos liable for gaming-related deposits by gaming promoters. Although it is still remote and not all cases will be successful, this is a significant tail-end risk that we cannot ignore.”

Abiding optimism:

Inside Asian Gaming reported that the Credit Suisse Group AG liability forecast was built on an assumed three-time monthly rolling to capital ratio although its own calculations exploiting different metrics resulted in a figure of between $4.46 billion and $5.09 billion. Nevertheless, the financial institution purportedly proclaimed that it remains upbeat about the overall gaming sector in Macau due to its ‘potential recovery and undemanding valuation’ even though officials in mainland China are continuing to implement a range of coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

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