The number of VIP junkets in Macau has fallen by 23 percent since Jan. 2015, from 183 to 141, according to data from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
There was no explanation provided for the drop in numbers.
Earlier in January, the Macau gaming regulator denied 35 of Macau’s gaming promoters from renewing their licences for failing to submit important accounting information. At the time Union Gaming speculated the junkets were not necessarily trying to avoid accountability, but was likely on their way to closure. The prospects of a VIP smoking ban, further currency devaluation relative to HKD, the general softening of the China macro, and better opportunities in other markets will cause more junkets to exit, says Union Gaming.
“Given the trajectory of the VIP story in Macau we would expect the number of licensed junkets to continue to drop over 2016 in conjunction with our forecast for a VIP GGR decline of around 12 percent.”
“Over the past year several junkets have or are exploring setting up shop in the Philippines – typically in Manila – as they pull some number of resources out of Macau,” added the research house.