The Chairman of Macau concessionaire Galaxy Entertainment Group, Lui Che Woo, has told Hong Kong media that the company supports the government’s decision to crack down on junket operations and will develop its direct VIP business gradually.
Speaking with Hong Kong media following GEG’s shareholders’ meeting on Monday, Dr Lui noted that new laws around VIP gaming operations do not allow for the operation of private junket rooms within casinos and GEG would respect the government’s decision.
This, he explained, was reflected in the company’s 1Q23 results, where a return to profitability saw 81% of gaming revenues generated via mass market tables and only 10% through VIP.
“With the reopening of Macau, business has obviously improved as the number of visitors continues to increase,” Dr Lui said.
“The Macau government no longer recommends that casinos continue to operate VIP rooms and we respect the government’s decision. Our current VIP business is in compliance with the law and we welcome [this] VIP business.”
The Macau government has in recent months passed both a new gaming law, titled Legal Framework for Operating Games of Chance in Casinos last year, and is currently reviewing a revised gaming credit law.
Asked about these new laws, Dr Lui said, “There are three laws regulating gaming junkets in Macau, two of which are already in place while the other one is still pending confirmation.
“The Group will wait for the announcement of the relevant laws, and after understanding the details, we will gradually develop the intermediary business in the future.”
GEG posted its 1Q23 financial results this week, with the company roaring back to an Adjusted EBITDA profit of HK$1.91 billion (US$244 million) from a HK$200 million (US$26 million) loss in the December 2022 quarter. The results included mass table win of HK$4.94 billion (US$632 million) with VIP win of HK$794 million (US$102 million) and slots win of HK$337 million (US$43 million).
Dr Lui said the company looked forward to maintaining its recovery trajectory on the back of new non-gaming and other entertainment experiences.
“Last weekend Galaxy held a live concert (Black Pink), which successfully drove a lot of foot traffic, and we will strengthen our non-gaming business in the future by adding more events or event-related business developments,” he said.