The End of an Era for Macau’s casino business

The Macau gambling business looks to a new era as several casino operators announced that they would be closing all of their VIP rooms before the end of this month.

As the fall out of the Suncity Group junket operations followed the arrest and possible conviction of its CEO, Alvin Lau in mainland China for charges that range from illegal gambling activities to money laundering, casino companies Sands China, Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Wynn Resorts were among the first to announce closure of their VIP rooms or the proxy junket casinos that made Macau into the biggest casino market in the world. At present, only SJM Holdings continues operating VIP rooms in their casino operations as “still has contracts with junket operators.”

New from Macau comes that the Special Administration Province’s second-largest junket operator, Tak Chun Group, will begin employee layoffs as operators have ended their junket partnerships.

China’s crackdown on cross border capital outflows has tightened the reins on junket operators and the end of the most profitable group activities. The fall out means the end of China’s casino high rollers exporting their wealth to Macau’s mostly foreign casino operators.

Suncity Group’s junket operations in Macau were officially wound-up last Friday, 10 December as its systems have been legally frozen owing to Chau’s capture in China.

In a memo, Suncity Gaming Promotion told employees that it could no longer operate as the city’s casino operators had ended their partnership with the company. Suncity employees still have not received their November salary as the company’s systems are frozen.

At one stage, Suncity boasted a 45 percent share of Macau’s junket market prior to Covid. Shares of Suncity Group’s listed arm, which doesn’t include its junket operation, were halted Thursday and will resume trading on Monday. They have plunged 46% since Nov. 30.


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