Macau’s gaming regulator has confirmed Wednesday night that all VIP gaming rooms operated by Suncity Group, a junket operator in Macau, have been closed. Alvin Chau, the now-former head of the junket operator, was arrested on Saturday for allegedly organizing illegal gambling, including online gambling, via the Philippines, China, and other countries.
Suncity Grinds to a Halt in Macau
The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ, for its Portuguese acronym) announced in a statement that it was informed Tuesday by city casino concessionaires about the suspension of their cooperation and Suncity Group. Suncity Group had “temporarily suspended the operation” in concessionaires’ Macau casinos.
MGM Resorts International is the majority owner of Macau casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd. A senior executive from the company confirmed that it had stopped working with Suncity Group at its two Macau casinos properties, MGM Macau & MGM Cotai.
Macau’s gaming regulator didn’t mention how many VIP rooms had been closed and what would happen with their staff. However, Suncity already announced that staff dismissals were coming.
The DICJ said that it would not comment about the case involving Chau, which relates to suspicions of gambling-related crime because local authorities are currently investigating the case. Chau gave up control of Suncity following his arrest. The body stated that all casino operators and junket operators must comply with the law.
Macau’s Labour Affairs Bureau told GGRAsia that it was “concerned about” the Suncity Group incident. According to the bureau, it had already reached out to the firm for information about the possible impact on its workforce.
According to the bureau, 11 inquiries had been received regarding Suncity Group labor issues as of Wednesday morning. The bureau stated that it had not yet received any formal labor complaint regarding Suncity Group as of Wednesday morning.
It is not clear what the overall impact of Suncity Group’s collapse on Macau’s employment situation will be. The group is not only involved in gaming operations but also has a variety of local industries, including travel and restaurants.
Macau Will Survive
Although the loss of the VIP rooms, with Suncity having controlled around 40% of the market, will impact Macau, the blow won’t be too severe. Casinos in the city, as well as in other places like Australia, had already begun relying less on VIP revenue and more on mass gaming revenue.
Wynn Resorts announced approximately six months ago that its focus was not so much on VIP traffic, and MGM has stated the same. MGM CFO Jonathan Halkyard said recently that the junket operations don’t “play a critical role” in the health of the casinos in Macau.