The total number of licensed gaming promoters in Macau – either entities or individuals also known as ‘junkets’ – shrank by 10.5 percent over the past 12 months. The fall marks the eighth consecutive year of decline in the number of licensed junkets in the Macau market, showed the official data.
The total fell from 95 in January 2020 to 85 this year, according to the latest updated list of licensed operators published on Wednesday by the city’s gaming regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
Around January each year, the gaming regulator publishes in Macau’s Official Gazette a list with the names of all junkets licensed to operate in the city’s casinos. Back in January 2013 Macau had a total of 235 licensed junkets, according to the data kept on record.
The gaming regulator did not provide in its latest announcement an explanation for the decrease in licensed junkets.
Macau saw a market-wide contraction of 80.6 percent year-on-year in VIP gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2020, to nearly MOP26.3 billion (US$3.3 billion) for the full year.
In the three months to December 31, VIP baccarat accounted for only 34.9 percent of Macau’s aggregate GGR for the period. It was the first time since the market-liberalisation era at the start of the current century that the VIP segment accounted for fewer than 40 percent of Macau quarterly GGR.
From 2015 onward the gaming bureau began implementing what it said were stricter operating rules for junket operators.
The Macau government would work on amending regulations applicable to junkets, a job that has been mentioned in the Policy Address for Fiscal Year 2021, published in November.