A Macau-based junket promotor Gold Moon has put on hold the VIP gaming operations that it was running at the Wynn Macau casino resort after its only operational gaming room in the casino was shutdown. The suspension of its VIP operations came in to effect on May 21.
According to an internal notice released by a local casino labor group Forefront of Macao Gaming, Gold Moon’s VIP operations in the casino was shut down at the request of Wynn Macau’s management. The notice said that the prevailing slump in the market had led to Wynn’s decision to put an end to the VIP gambling operations despite holding many rounds of discussions.
The group’s notice also stated that the Gold Moon had terminated all labor-related relationships with the staff who were employed at the VIP gambling room. Neither Wynn nor Gold Moon has issued any comment on the issue so far.
Gold Moon is continuing with its operations in Altira Macau which is a casino run by Melco Crown Entertainment. It had however closed its VIP room at the Sands Cotai Central casino back in 2015. This casino resort is owned by Sands China Ltd.
The closure of Gold Moon’s operations in Wynn Macau is the latest indication of the continuing slump in Macau’s VIP gambling market. According to the latest report from Macau’s gaming regulator Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), the number of operational junket operators in Macau has dropped to 141 in January, a fall of 23 percent year-on- year. So far only one new license has been issued which was in February.
In a statement, analysts with the brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd said
Consolidation in the Macau junket space is a continuing theme. The junket operators and international marketing people we spoke with believe the number of junkets in Macau will continue to decline as increasing regulation and scrutiny make it more difficult to do business for smaller junkets.
According to the analysts, four large junket operators currently control over 70 percent of the VIP-oriented junket operations in the city. Amongst these four operators, Suncity Group holds the largest share with over 40 percent while Guangdong Group comes in second with around 20 percent. The other two are Tak Chun Group and Golden Group.
Gaming analysts have however said that as per reports from junket operators, the market situation in Macau was easing. The bad debt suffered by these junket operators had now become more manageable and debt collections have improved. If the situation continues to recover, it could mean that the VIP segment might slowly see a revival.