Following the enforced closure of so many VIP rooms after junket operator Alvin Chau was arrested, the casinos of Macau face a future – at least on the short term – where they will have to rely on a more ‘mass market’ customer and player base than has been the case in the past.
It has long been accepted that the junket business acted as the facilitator of transport, accommodation, entertainment and even credit for wealthy, high roller clients. These big players represented a significant proportion of the gaming spend in Macau, and Chau’s arrest triggered a wave of VIP gaming room closures. Replacing this VIP revenue will require the casinos to attract a more mass-market clientele, and this will require further relaxation of restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Whilst mass market players don’t gamble enough to merit complimentary privileges, they do gamble with – and lose – far lower amounts. Obviously, this means they need to arrive in big numbers. Whether or not they will do so, and soon enough, still remains to be seen.