Asian Junkets for Singapore Casinos Soon?

Posted: September 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

21st Sep 2011  Wed

Commentary by:  Professional Ground casino experts panel

SINGAPORE CASINOS OPEN UP FOR JUNKET OPERATORS SOON?

The business Times published a report just about how ‘bad’ the Asian junket operators can be, to screw up the whole casino industry in Macau.  That’s the main reason why USA casino jurisdictions never allowed Asian junket style operations in their turf.

The big question is, how would Singapore casino regulator manage the licensing of casino junkets for the Integrated Resorts?  They would know pretty well that these are the same type of junket operators that have created such ‘ugly’ problems for Macau.

As Beijing government had mentioned to several insider agencies, the illegal money channels that Asian casino junkets operate undercover, have been laundering at least RMB600b a year out of China into casinos within East Asia.  Macau is the largest receiving base of hot cash.  Such flow of illegal money was long noticed by Beijing but, the central government has no means to stop them.  Provincial and city officials are part of the big game!

In Macau, from Day One the process of approving junket license has been loosely administered by the DICJ (casino regulatory agency). It takes only 2 months or less for any junket operator to obtain the license to operate; so long as the application is supported by a casino operator. Checks on junket background were only apparent during the early days of Sands Macau started its business. After two years or so, it is merely formality. Many hidden funding parties are behind these junket operators.  Turnover of syndicated funding parties is very frequent.  So, after some times, it is even harder to track the background of these junket ‘shareholders’, many of them are from mainland China.  There it goes, just don’t ask about where the money comes from. We all knew by now, most of them were unchecked monies.  So, by now, the real owners of Macau casino VIP gaming businesses are these complex-background junket operators.  They are the ones who run the direction of casino VIP programs, even DICJ has to be hand-off and keep clear of this territory.

Changes of funding shareholders of these junket operators (or the management services company) are frequent.  So, after some times, DICJ may not get updates from junket operators.  In Macau, there’s a total >120 junket operators, big, small and tiny timers included.  Put it simply, nobody can effectively track the sources of funding/money anymore.

That explains WHY Macau continues to exceed its annual records for its gaming revenues?  The pace of such record-breaking in casino revenue is phenomenon!

Now, what Singapore government would think? It’s likely that any junket licensee would also link up with local money-lenders in order to cover its base for domestic market as well.  Deep below the surface, the network can grow into a huge ‘bad’ money network that erodes the country’s social economic values.

Lots of 'regrets' ... but too late. The 'kindom' is lost to the Junkets

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