Casino operators have started shutting down junket operations in Macau. Both Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd., along with Wynn Macau Ltd. are no longer offering junket services in the SAR. It is expected that other operators will follow suit and shut down operations soon.
Melco Resorts Ceases Junket Operations
Effective December 21, Melco Resorts stopped all gaming promotions from operating within its Studio City resort and City of Dreams facility. The company announced the end of operations via the websites of its two casino properties.
The operator owns a third property, Altira Macau in the Taipa district, which reported that it was stopping VIP play back in the summer and moving towards premium mass promotion. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that junket operators were considering a shift to premium mass after moving away from the VIP segment.
Wynn Macau Ltd. Removes Junket Promoters
Wynn Macau has also been busy removing junket operations from its properties in the SAR. The firm operates the Wynn Macau Casino as well as the Wynn Palace located in Cotai. Just a few days ago, vice-chairman and chief operating officer for Wynn Macau Ltd. Linda Chen was asked about the junket operations.
In a statement, Chen said that the firm plans to end all junket operator agreements by the end of 2021. VIP rooms of the company that are managed by third-party groups will change to mass-market facilities or will be used for other purposes.
And what about other operators in Macau? Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., MGM China Holdings Ltd., SJM Holdings Ltd, and Sands China Ltd. all offer services in Macau. Will these operators cease junket services? So far, only Galaxy has announced that it does not have an update on the matter. The other companies have yet to reveal any information regarding junkets.
The junket sector of Macau has been in the hot seat for quite some time and operators are starting to move away from its once-lucrative services. The negative shift began after Alvin Chau Cheok Wa was arrested and his Suncity Group junket was shut down by authorities.
In the past, the junket was the largest VIP operation in Macau. On December 1, gaming regulators in Macau announced the closure of Suncity VIP rooms. This announcement came just a few days after Chau was arrested for allegedly taking part in organizing illegal gambling for customers in mainland China. There are also allegations of online gambling services via the Philippines.