Sands China Embraces the End of the VIP Salons in Macau Casinos

Sands China has announced it is restructuring its VIP rooms at its Macau properties as the era of the junkets and VIP salons in Macau casinos are coming to an end with new gambling regulations from mainland China.

New Gambling Legislation for Macau

As a result of COVID measures, China’s National Immigration Administration (NIA) has restricted all non-essential trips abroad of Chinese citizens. This affects especially the so-called “outbound gamblers”, restricting and investigating any persons that have traveled to Macau and Hong Kong more than three times a year during the period 2019-2021. Besides countering the spreading of COVID, these new rules aim to fight illegal gambling activities and have already made possible the imprisonment of two prominent junket executives – Alvin Chau from Suncity Group and Levo Chan from Tak Chun Group.

Another thing that bides the time of VIP rooms is the new law on gaming in Macau. The new rules have effectively banned junkets from accepting deposits from players and stipulate that this is the sole right of concessionaires only. The new bill of the name “Legal Framework for Operating Games of Chance in Casinos” has been duped “the junket law” as it in effect hampers junket activities. The Chairman of the Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly, Chan Chak Mo, has elaborated that according to the new legislation junkets will only be allowed to bring players to the casinos and get chips.

The new legislation also puts a stop to the agreements between casinos and junkets on sharing revenue and the separate junket rooms in casinos.

Sands China And its Parent Company Las Vegas Sands See the Changes As Positive

The announcement about the discontinuation of the VIP rooms at Sands China’s Macau properties came together with the second quarter financial results report of the company’s parent Las Vegas Sands, published on July 21.  Las Vegas Sands executives welcomed the change as a positive development saying that it will focus the business on higher margins and bring more profits. Sands China COO Grant Chum sees an evolving market in Macau and the VIP salons as valuable assets that could be used by a wider segment of gamblers to the advantage of the venues. He has elaborated the following:

Clearly, Macau overall may be looking at how each operator redeploys assets but as far as we’re concerned, especially with the new products we’ve developed over the past two years, we feel pretty positive about redeploying a lot of those gaming spaces for the premium mass segment.

Sands China COO Grant Chum

After the Macau gambling market recovers from the challenges posed by COVID, Chum expects that the company will be able to attract customers from the rest of Asia with these new products and expanded gambling spaces.

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