but it was immediately written that the news was sufficient to remove the operator from any ambition to apply for a seventh gaming licence in Macau. Changbin Wang tells Macau Business that this case, coupled with Australian-origin information, also involving Suncity and Crown Resorts, “will have consequences for the entire industry.” The IPM professor has no doubt that pressure from China will not disappear. He bases this conviction upon the fact that “the junket business harms the economy and society of mainland China. A number of owners of small-and-medium companies were reported to have lost lots of money, even going bankrupt, due to coming to Macau.”

No future without junkets

“If the central government takes more severe measures to [dampen the] junket business, as it did with the representatives of an Australian casino in 2016, and encourages the Macau Government to take action in this regard,” he speculates, “the junket business will face significant challenges.” Would it be possible to operate casinos in Macau without

junkets? Professor Changbin thinks not. “There will definitely be junkets in the gaming industry. But they would possibly be different from what we have had,” he explains, giving as an example what happens not only in the United States, where “one of the roles of the junkets is to bring in customers rather than run (or co-run) a casino.”


Average salary of gaming workers up 3.8pct

The average earnings of full-time employees in the gaming industry – excluding bonuses – increased 3.8 per cent year-on-year to MOP24,550 (US$3,039) by the end of the second quarter, according to the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC). Excluding junket promoters and junket associates,

a total of 57,840 people in the city were working full-time in the gaming sector in the second quarter, a 2.8 per cent year-on-year rise. About 43.5 per cent of employees in the gaming

sector were dealers – more 4.8 per cent than last year – with their average wages increasing by 2 per cent year-on-year to MOP20,850. Vacancies in the gaming sector increase 81 positions year-on-year to 904 at the end of the second quarter, with 588 vacancies being for dealers. A total of 1,942 new employees were hired in this period, more 48.1 per cent when compared with the same period last year.

We are at a critical point. In his research project Will the Junket Business Change Significantly in Macau? the Director of the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies analyses the possible trends of the junket business in Macau, knowing that much of what happens will “depend upon how hard the Chinese government pushes.” One thing, however, seems obvious: “More transparency and more regulation are inevitable as this is the trend internationally,” he told Macau Business.

Macau junkets barred from taking VIP customers abroad?

Sanford C. Bernstein analysts stated in a recent note that a Chinese China rebuke to the Philippines for offshore gambling can be seen as a warning to junkets and online gaming operators about gaming activities outside of Macau, while local gaming authorities ask for junkets to stop offering overseas VIP play settlement services through Macau. The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines recently criticised the country’s offshore gaming operators for hiring Chinese citizens to work illegally in the country and the Philippines’ online gaming operations (POGOs) for targeting Chinese citizens as their primary customers. Meanwhile, a recent Bloomberg report indicates that Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau has also issued a directive to local junket operators to desist using the territory as a base for cross-border settlement of VIP gambling services, effective 1st August.

MOP67.2 bln collected in gaming taxes

The government collected a total of MOP67.2 billion (US$8.3 billion) in gaming taxes in the first seven months, a 2.2 per cent year-on-year increase, according to the Financial Service Bureau (DFS). In total, the SAR has collected MOP74.8 billion in

tax revenue. The gaming sector contributed some 88 per cent of the total. The initial estimates for gaming revenues to be

collected this year was set at about MOP98.2 billion, with 68.4 per cent already received.

The gaming operator’s total revenues also

dropped 7 per cent year-on-year to HK$26.2 billion, while adjusted EBITDA decreased 4 per cent to HK$8.3 billion. The group’s total gaming revenue on a

management basis was HK$30.6 billion in the first half of the year, down 11 per cent year-on-year, as total mass table revenues went up 8 per cent and total VIP revenues dropped 25 per cent.

Success Universe profits triple

Success Universe Group Ltd. – responsible for the Ponte 16 property – announced that the Group is expected to record a two to three times increase in its unaudited consolidated profit to around HK14.2 million in the first half of 2019, from the same period last year According to a Group’s note on the Hong Kong

Stock Exchange (HKEX), the increase of unaudited consolidated profit for the six months ended by June 30, was primarily attributable to the increase of profit associated to its flagship investment, Ponte 16, although there was a decrease in fair value gain on investment properties. Ponte 16 located at Macau peninsula with its gaming operations being under the SJM Holdings gaming concession.

Galaxy net profits down 7 pct

The net profits recorded by Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) went down 7 per cent year-on-year in the first half of the year to HK$6.7 billion (US$853.8 million), the group’s reported.

26 OCTOBER 2019

Macau Legend with HK$107.5 mln in losses

Macau Legend Ltd. recorded some HK$107.5 million (US$13.7 million) in losses during the first

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