Macau gaming professor and former lawmaker Davis Fong says the city’s junket operators can not only survive but still flourish by shifting their focus away from mainland Chinese customers and towards Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.
Speaking to media at the closing ceremony of the Macau government Responsible Gambling Promotions for 2021 at the Macau Science Centre, Fong – said it was up to the junket industry to adapt to recent challenges from China’s crackdown on cross-border gambling.
The junket sector is currently in the crossroads after Macau’s dominant junket operator, Suncity Group, closed its VIP rooms and ultimately shut down its business earlier this month following the arrest of its CEO, Alvin Chau.
“With these changes, our gaming services will depend on exportation, which means [sourcing] clients from different regions,” Fong said.
“Traditionally some casinos and VIP rooms have targeted clients from mainland China to promote their business, but this is inconsistent with the legal system.
“But I don’t agree that we are at the phase of remodelling our structure. VIP rooms existed before the handover [of Macau from Portugal back to China in 1999]. I remember during that decade there were many clients from Southeast Asia, including Japanese, Malaysian, [Thai and] Taiwanese.
“So I think in the future, according to the change of rules, VIP rooms must make a suitable adjustment. We should not forget Southeast Asian clients just because we focused more on mainland China after the handover.”
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