Can VIP games survive a review of the city’s legal framework for games?

Macau Business | July 2022 | Special Report | Games in Macau: A New Era

Some experts predict the dark future of High Roller, while others predict that the segment will adapt to the new era.

One of the most significant changes coming in Macau’s new game concession period is, as we knew, what many already expect as the end of the VIP segment.

VIP games have lost momentum in recent years (before the pandemic), but continue to be a hallmark of Macau casinos, as evidenced by the fact that 70% of the market a few years ago was VIP fuel. .. Until China tightens surveillance and begins to disrupt junket activity.

“It would be just as difficult (and probably even more difficult) for high rollers to bring large amounts of money to other jurisdictions. They need to adapt to the new Macau, which means less annual cash flow and travel. (Because many states have visa issuance intervals for each player), “said Alidad Tash, Managing Director of 2NT8 Limited. Macau business..

“Junket was an important channel for high rollers to put money into Macau. Other channels (jewelry stores and UnionPay) are expected to be closely monitored by the government, so it will be a normal business. No “– Alidad Tash

“Junket was an important channel for high rollers (that is, premium mass and premium direct players) to put money into Macau,” Tash predicts. “It’s not a normal business in other channels (jewelry stores),” UnionPay), because I foresee higher government scrutiny. “

Changbin Wang, director of the Gaming Tourism Research Center at Macau Institute of Technology, agrees: Because it is very difficult for promoters to do business in mainland China, where most of their customers live. “

The view of Macau-based lawyer Pedro Cortez, who has written and investigated game issues, is clearer. On the other hand, he believes that “high rollers in the non-Chinese world will be the target of Macau operators / promoters in the future,” but when it comes to high rollers in mainland China, “I doubt they can.” Continue to come to Macau or go elsewhere, taking into account the restrictions imposed by mainland authorities after amendments to the criminal law stating that organizing or soliciting cross-border gambling (land or online) is a crime 10 To the imprisonment of the year. “

Cortez emphasizes: Macau business Following this revision of the criminal law, there were recent crackdowns on Macau’s junket operators, in addition to three announcements of blacklisted jurisdictions. “Therefore, we probably have high rollers, but they are different in nature from those who gambled in Macau in the last few decades.”

This managing partner of Lektou LLP believes there is no need to strengthen existing controls. Money in the same way they did in the past. Just because the junket channel is closed and the laws in force make such activities a crime. “

However, Carlos Siu Lam, Program Coordinator of the Bachelor of Business Administration in Game and Recreation Management at Macau Institute of Technology, believes they will continue to come to Macau.

“I think High Rollers are always welcome in Macau. They may go to VIP rooms run by Concessionaire. Compared to other jurisdictions in Asia, Macau has its modernization, tourism products and The service is very convenient and secure, “says Professor Shiu. Macau business.. “Unless these patrons want to get something different, then they may go to other jurisdictions, with less control, but higher risk. “

That’s just bad news for gambling in Macau. Does it look like the high roller segment is slowly disappearing?

Another MPU instructor, Ryan Ho of the Gaming and Tourism Studies Center, is looking at the silver lining. In contrast to the very narrow rate of return for VIP games, the mass table hold is around 20% and some casinos have a much better win rate. This may be good news for operators. “

“What is certain is that the mass market-oriented business model will undoubtedly be more sustainable for Macau casinos in the long run.” – Ryan Ho

Is there virtually no casino after 2035?

“I am very pessimistic about the future of the industry. In one scenario considering the current policy, I believe that there may not be a casino in Macau after 2035. Foreigners. This is still in the past. It’s not something that hasn’t happened. For example, when the first Macau gambling law (the legislative diploma 1496 of July 4, 1961) came into force, some Macau residents (25 years old, regardless of nationality residing in Macau). There were some restrictions that prevented (residents below) from gambling, at casinos in the territory of the time, “said Pedro Cortez. Macau business..

“Focus on old industries and grow them”

“With blazing momentum, game businessman and former lawmaker David Chau Kam Phi listens to society as the only way to recover the economy that was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. , Encouraging local governments to focus on the local core industry, ”Macau News Agency reported in April last year about public intervention from the founders of Macau Legend.

“I don’t know what the government is doing. Do they even know themselves? The gaming industry is very important to Macau and has been around for 20 years, but now it’s cutting a lot. “Masu,” said a businessman after attending an event hosted by the Federal General Commercial Association of Macau SMEs.

“It’s the government’s responsibility. We tried to tell them. They have to listen and try to solve it reasonably. Talk to the Chinese government. Macau’s game industry It’s important. You don’t have to worry about following new programs. Focus on old industries and grow them. That’s the only way to survive for the next five years, “Chow added.

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