- The agreements drawn up between Macau casinos and junket operators could be made public
- It is reported the decision comes after an appeal court ruling in the country
Despite protestations from representatives of Macau’s gaming industry, the court has reportedly rubber-stamped the move, which could make public VIPs, officials and public figures found to have been involved in the luxury trips.
Junkets in Macau
Junkets are extravagant trips that are often enjoyed by VIPs at public expense and are thus highly controversial. While officials who are visiting regions are entitled to enjoy hospitality, the lavishness of some trips has raised eyebrows, not just in Macau but the world over.
In the Chinese gaming region, a string of operators have sprung up specialising in organising these VIP trips, made in conjunction with the casinos in question.
It is generally not public officials that these junkets are designed for however, but instead gamblers of high net worth who are only too eager to bet big.
Following the ruling by the Macau court, it has reportedly been established that the casinos do not have the right to block access to requests for this information from interested parties.
Visiting VIPs and high rollers
Macau’s junket operators bring in VIPs from across Asia. Casinos are reliant on these high rollers to bring in the big bucks, and thus are dependant upon the efforts of junket operators to source these MVPs.
One of the powers that junket operators have is the ability to issue credit so as to entice high rollers to play high stakes games. Macau’s six licensed casino operators have come to rely on the efforts of the licensed junket groups which currently number 126 – a drop of over 10% on the year before.
The current courtroom battle reportedly began in February when a Macau lawyer requested access to the list of junkets in regard to two cases they were preparing on behalf of a client.
The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, who oversee Macau denied the request however and a legal complaint was lodged by the lawyer. Although the court system initially found in favour of the gambling regulator, the Court of Second Instance ruled in the lawyer’s favour in July and this decision has since been ratified.
As a consequence, interested parties who have a justifiable case for wishing to access junket-related data will be able to do so.
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