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By João Paulo Meneses – jpmeneses@macaubusiness.com


Junkets


more regulation and control


The Macau Government will continue to tighten its vigilance of junkets. For various reasons, but especially because this is the signal coming from across the border. But, says one of the best known experts, we are far from gambling without junkets.


“T 24 OCTOBER 2019


he Macau Government will put more regulations and control” on junket activities, Changbin Wang, Director of the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies (Macau Polytechnic Institute, IPM), told


Macau Business. Professor Changbin is one of the leading authorities on the subject in Macau and continues to investigate the topic of junkets. Will the Junket Business Change Significantly in Macau? is the title of his next research paper, in which he addresses precisely what is changing in this business. Wang understands that the junket business “is jeopardised


due to [several] factors.” In particular, the IPM teacher highlights three. The first has to do with “stricter regulations” applied by local government, mainly after Huang Shan, a junket


operator who brought high rollers from Mainland China to Macau, disappeared in 2014 leaving massive debts, and an accountant in the Dore-operated VIP room in the Wynn Macau casino stole a huge amount of money from it in 2015. Those “stricter regulations have put quite a number of junkets out of business,” he states. Changbin Wang also underlines the judicial judgement from the Court of Appeal that demands concessionaires take joint liability with one of its junkets in terms of gaming business “likely intimidating the concessionaires to collaborate with the junkets and make the concessionaires intervene more in the specific business that the junkets operate.”


China factor


Third, the X-factor: the role played by the central government of Mainland China. The Director of the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies recognises that Beijing “is more and more concerned about junket activities,” which are actually forbidden in the criminal law of Mainland China. And this is the X-factor because it reconciles two weighted


arguments: on the one hand, the uncertainty about what China will do, and on the other the weight that any ‘recommendation’ or even indirect intervention from China may have. Just see the impact of the recent report from The Economic Information Daily, an affiliate of state-run media Xinhua News Agency Chinese, alleging the Suncity operator had been operating a large network of online gaming websites. The junket operator group strenuously denied the report


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