Macau cracks down on junkets, again

Macau’s gaming industry regulator, the DICJ, has apparently taken another bold step to tighten controls on junket promoters, closing a legal loophole that had been used to conduct settlement of offshore gaming activity in Macau accounts.

Citing unnamed sources, GGRAsia reports that the DICJ has issued a directive, effective since August 1, that bans junkets from using their “cages” within the casinos to settle transactions taking place in other jurisdictions. Previously, they had been able to accept payments, and dispense them, in their Macau VIP rooms for customers who were gambling in their rooms in other countries.

Here is how it works: A customer flies to Vietnam, or Sydney, or London, or any other place where a junket has an operation. They don’t need to take any cash with them, however, because their winnings (or losings) are settled up with the junket in Macau. All they need to do is get their money out of the mainland and into Macau. The rest is taken care of with “markers” – records of what they have won (or lost) anywhere.

The move was long overdue, and ought to improve Macau’s standing with the FATF, the global body overseeing efforts against money-laundering and terrorist financing. Read more.

Tell us what you think