Junket boss confirms suspension of junket VIP rooms and job layoffs in Macau

Trend could easily grow if tourism doesn’t improve in July 

According to a report by GGRAsia, a Macau junket boss has confirmed the suspension of some junket VIP gaming rooms in the city and some job layoffs due to the tourism slump caused by Covid-19 in the country. 

The Macau government has called for local casino-sector employers to avoid job layoffs.

A local junket operator owner and Vice President of Asian Responsible Gaming Alliance, U Io Hung, spoke with GGRAsia and said “Several VIP gaming rooms in Macau have already been suspended, and those are of both the major junket promoters and the smaller-scale ones” Mr. U is also a long-term investor in Macau junket rooms and is linked to the “Pacific Intermediário Sociedade Unipessoal Lda”, Macau’s government-licensed gaming promoter entity. 

Ho Iat Seng, Macau’s appointed Chief Executive, has acknowledged the pressure and the new struggles the region was facing, as the GGR of the local casino market has declined by 90% for a third consecutive month, leaving the region with almost exhausted funds. 

The Macau government has called for local casino-sector employers to avoid job layoffs. However, the VIP gaming boss Mr. U told GGRasia the inevitability of the circumstances stating, “In July, I would expect that there could be some five or six more junket rooms that are run by the larger-scale operators facing suspension. If that happens, that absolutely spells out the possibility of even more junket employee layoffs,”  

IVS as the Antidote the Phenomenon 

Mr U told GGRAsia“Even if there is a certain travel easing happening with Macau and Hong Kong in July, do you think the supporting services like flights and ferries can all return to normality?” 

“the resumption of Individual Visit Scheme” - IVS or China’s outbound visa system, allowing mainland residents from selected cities to travel independently to Macau and some other places -  is the “only remedy” for recovery of the Macau junket sector, said Mr U. The scheme that had been on halt since the emergence of the coronavirus outbreak on January. 

According to Desmond Lam, in an interview with iag, the gaming industry as the only sector that can bring back Macau’s economy to its old pre-Covid highs.

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