According to a source close to the situation, a number of Macau’s casinos have reportedly moved to close VIP gambling operations run by under-fire junket companies. This follows the high-profile arrest of the junket industry’s leading figure, Alvin Chau of Suncity, who is accused of running an online gambling platform available in mainland China.
Both Wynn Macau and Melco Resorts & Entertainment have reportedly informed junket operators that they will close rooms where VIP high rollers play before the end of 2021. Wynn Macau, who yesterday confirmed that Craig Billings will take on the role of CEO in the enclave, is set to close all junket VIP rooms by December 20, while Melco’s will be shut at a later date.
This is only the latest chapter in a series of events that sees Macau’s gaming sector fall squarely in the sights of the Chinese Government, with junket operators being the main target. The former-Portuguese colony’s lawmakers are currently examining gaming regulation a result.
Junkets, which work to fly high rollers to VIP events but have also been linked to illicit gaming activity, make up for approximately 75% of Macau’s annual VIP gaming revenue, or almost $2.2bn.
Wynn Macau, a branch of the US gaming giant Wynn Resorts, has been affected by this crackdown as the company works to restructure its leadership. Recently the operator's CEO, Matt Maddox, left his position.
Prior to the announcement that Craig Billings will be taking both the Wynn Macau and Wynn Resorts CEO positions, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Phill Satre said: “Matt led our company through two of the most fundamentally challenging events any executive could possibly expect: the abrupt departure of a founder and a pandemic.”