Date
22 January 2017
David Chow says China's slowing economy, rather than Beijing's anti-graft campaign, is the real factor dragging on Macau's gaming industry. Photo: HKEJ
David Chow says China's slowing economy, rather than Beijing's anti-graft campaign, is the real factor dragging on Macau's gaming industry. Photo: HKEJ

Time for junket operators to change role, says gaming veteran

It’s about time junket operators changed their role from intermediaries for VIP rooms to regular staffers of casinos, an industry expert said.

David Chow Kam-fai, chairman and chief executive of casino operator Macau Legend Development Ltd. (01680.HK), said junket operators, whose job is to attract high-rollers to casinos, could no longer be sustained because of the continued decline in revenue from VIP gaming rooms, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Guests playing in VIP rooms are usually those who earned their fortune from real estate, stocks and natural resources following a series of measures rolled out by the government to boost the economy.

But with the slowdown in the mainland economy, the wealth of these clients has dwindled.

That’s why Chow believes China’s slowing economy, rather than the government’s anti-graft campaign, is the real factor dragging on Macau’s gaming industry.

Nonetheless, junket operators can still take part in the gaming industry by joining the casinos’ marketing team or performing credit evaluation of clients, Chow said.

These are well-paid jobs, and casinos even offer stock options for their high-performing personnel, he added.

Chow has been in the industry since he was in his 20s, and once worked for casino moguls Yip Hon and Stanley Ho.

He later rejoined Ho’s flagship and helped in increasing the revenue in one of Ho’s casino hotels to HK$4 billion from HK$200 million.

Chow said it will take two to two and a half years before Macau’s gaming sector reaches a new high following the opening of new facilities which will attract clients from southeast and northeast Asia.

Translation by Vey Wong

[Chinese version中文版]

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