In a few days, on November 21st, the Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly of Macau is set to review the special administrative region’s Legal Framework for Operating Games of Chance in Casinos – a piece of legislation that has been duped by Macau’s new junket law.
Members of the aforementioned Second Standing Committee have confirmed that they plan to discuss the latest erosion of the wording of the piece of legislation, which is more commonly known as “the junket law”, at their next meeting scheduled to take place next Monday.
The latest version of the piece of legislation, which has been proposed by the Government of Macau, includes a new text regarding the liability that casino license holders bear when it comes to a potential partnership with a junket operator. In the previous version of the bill, a problematic text existed, stating that a concessionaire is jointly and severally liable for the activities of the junket it partners with when it comes to the activities and services offered at the casino operated by the license holder.
According to the Second Standing Committee, however, the text describing the meaning of the word “activity” was considered quite general, which could cause some unclarities.
Final Junket Bill Expected to Be Approved by the End of December 2022
On November 21st, the aforementioned Committee is set to consider the proposed addition of the new article 62, which explains the term “activity”. According to the proposed wording, all deposits or chips that are accepted by the junket operator and its employees as part of their services at the licensee’s casino need to be exchanged with the casino venue’s concessionaire with the transaction being recorded in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations. The casino license holder, who is also called a casino concessionaire, is subject to joint and several liabilities linked to these issues in partnership with the junket operator.
The chips or money deposits need to be used for gambling activities and this needs to be proven by the casino license holder by keeping thorough records of all transactions that take place between the concessionaire and the junket operator.
According to expectations, the final junket bill of Macau should be tabled to the Legislative Assembly in mid-December 2022 in order to get approval by the end of the month and before the extension of the local casino licenses takes place on January 1st, 2023.
Further changes that are part of the so-called junket law are linked to the number of operating permits that will be available after the bill is passed. The number is set to be determined every year by Macau’s Finance Secretary who is going to issue a special directive that will also include the limit on the number of junket operators that can be signed in partnerships with casino license holders. The list of licensed junket operators is set to be made officially public annually.
On the other hand, the number of licensed junkets is set to depend on the number of junket operator agreements that are signed a contract with. Currently, there are 46 junket operators in Macau but only the ones who have a contract with a concessionaire are set to get permission to continue their operations in the future.