The number of licensed gaming promoters, or junkets, in Macau has declined by 10 over the past 12 months as the industry’s recent track record of contraction continues.
According to information published by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) on Wednesday, there are now 85 licensed junkets, down from 95 a year ago and well below the peak of 235 back in 2013. The number of licensed junkets has fallen in all but one of the eight years since then, with this year’s figure representing the lowest number since just 77 operators were licensed in 2006.
The decline doesn’t come as any great surprise given the challenges faced by the VIP sector in recent years and increasingly tight regulations that have led to a consolidation of the industry.
Alidad Tash, Managing Director of Hong Kong-based gaming consultancy firm 2NT8 Ltd, told Inside Asian Gaming last year, “Macau’s VIP glory days are long gone. Macau in 5 to 10 years down the line will be far less reliant on VIP.”
Since 2011, when VIP contributed 72.9% of Macau’s GGR, the VIP segment kicked in a more subdued 38.7% contribution in 2019. It also fell from record segment GGR of US$29.33 billion in 2013 to US$14 billion in 2019.
In the final quarter of 2020, albeit in a year impacted by COVID-19, VIP kicked in just 34.6% of Macau’s GGR based on figures published by the DICJ earlier this month.
The SAR’s leading VIP gaming promotor, Suncity Group, recently told investors that it’s rolling volume was currently back to just 20% of pre-COVID levels with a number of VIP rooms across Macau temporarily closed.