Macau Government Proposes Ban on Licensed Junket Loans
The Macau government is exploring the idea of prohibiting licensed junkets from extending loans to players at local casinos. This suggestion came from Macau Legislative Assembly Standing Committee Chief Chan Chak Mo, who is responsible for reviewing a draft legislation on the matter. Following a private Committee meeting at the Assembly building on December 15, Chan Chak Mo shared this proposal with the media.
Back in May, the Macau Legislative Assembly gave its initial approval to the latest legislation on gambling loans issued by junkets and casino concessionaires. This legislation has been under consideration by Mr. Chan’s committee since then. The proposed legislation, known as the “legal regime of credit concession for gambling in casinos,” initially allowed only junkets and casino concessionaires to issue credit. It also stipulated that junkets must have an official contract with any gaming concessionaire they partner with for loan issuance.
Mr. Chan announced that the Macau government is now suggesting junkets should no longer be permitted to issue credit. This proposal was discussed during a Committee meeting where key officials such as Macau’s Secretary of Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, and the director of the city’s casino regulator, Adriano Marques Ho were in attendance. Mr. Chan made it clear that the government’s proposal seeks to eliminate current provisions allowing gaming promoters to issue gaming credit in their name.
Recent figures show a decline in the number of junkets in Macau, with a 21.7% decrease to 36 in the first month of 2023. VIP Baccarat, popular among high-net-worth Macau gamblers, accounted for just 24.1% of Macau’s total casino gross income during the third quarter of 2023, whether issued with loans by junkets or operated directly by casino operators.
Mr. Chan expressed that his committee’s members had no problems with accepting the government’s latest proposal on bet credit rules. He also emphasized that licensed casino concessionaires are better equipped to manage and control gambling-related credit compared to other parties. The legislation will be further discussed in February, with a final reading expected in the plenary session of the Assembly. If approved, the new law could potentially take effect in mid-2024, almost four months after the Legislative Assembly’s approval.