Macau Government Proposes Prohibition On Licensed Junkets Issuing Player Loans

Home » Macau Government Proposes Prohibition On Licensed Junkets Issuing Player Loans

The Government of Macau is suggesting that licensed Macau junkets be prohibited from making loans themselves to players using local casinos, according to comments made on December 15 by Macau Legislative Assembly Standing Committee Chief Chan Chak Mo, who is assigned with examining a draft legislation on the subject. In addition, he stated this to the media following a private Committee meeting, which took place in the Assembly building.

The proposal:

In May, Macau’s Legislative Assembly issued its 1st approval to the latest legislation on gambling loans issued by junkets and casino concessionaires. Since then, the legislation has been under consideration by Mr Chan’s committee.

Moreover, the initial legislation, named the “legal regime of credit concession for gambling in casinos,” said that only junkets and casino concessionaires would be allowed to issue credit. However, it suggested that junkets must have an official contract regarding the issuance of a loan with any gaming concessionaire they associate with.

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And now Mr Chan said that “the Macau government is now proposing that junkets are no longer permitted to issue credit.” However, Macau’s Secretary of Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, an official supervising casino sector policy, and the director of the city’s casino regulator, Adriano Marques Ho, also made an appearance at the said Committee meeting, but departed without talking to the journalists.

Following the meeting, Mr Chan made it clear that “the government’s proposal deletes current provisions that allow gaming promoters to issue gaming credit in their name.” Additionally, he added according to GGRAsia: “The proposal retains the rule whereby – with an agent contract reached with casino concessionaires, gaming promoters can…assist in bringing clients, serving them and thereby earn commission for their services.”

Bad workflow for junkets in Macau:

At the moment, junkets in Macau, don’t have half the volume and scale of business they did at their peak a several years ago. The number of junkets decreased by 21.7% on an annual basis, to 36 in the first month of 2023, according to formal data.

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In this regard, VIP Baccarat, the “game of choice” for high-net-worth Macau gamblers, whether issued with loan by junkets or operated directly by casino operators, accounted for just 24.1% of Macau’s total casino gross income during the 3Q23, in compliance with information obtained from government data.

However, even according to the newest regulatory framework for the ongoing 10-year gaming concessions, junkets, famous on a local scale as “gaming promoters,” still possessed the capacity to issue loans directly. On that note, Mr Chan said in his comments on December 15, that “his committee’s members had no issues accepting the government’s latest proposal on bet credit rules.”

Additionally, he said to the reporters: “The casino concessionaires are licensed gaming companies, and they are listed, and with a more comprehensive framework in the managing and control of gambling-related credit, than could be offered by other parties.”

Relatedly, he also said that the legislation will be discussed in more detail in February, which is a later date then expected, after which the final reading in the plenary session of the Assembly will occur. In addition, he projects that it could take nearly 4 months for such a law to be implemented following the aforementioned approval of the Legislative Assembly, which means that the law could potentially take effect in mid-2024.

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