Junket Operators Now Focusing On South Korea Rather Than Macau
- Junket operators have switched their attention from Macau to South Korea
- Jeju Dream Tower set to attract over 1,000 high stakes players in August
- South Korea could soon become a key hub for VIP players in Asia
Macau’s junket casino operations have been shrinking for the last few years and things really got bad when Suncity Group saw their CEO and Director Alvin Chau get arrested in China in late 2021. Suncity Group was one of the biggest junket operators in Macau and when Chau resigned, the junket industry shrank even more as China continued to crackdown on VIP gamblers and junket operators.
The junket business in Macau has come to a standstill due to the crackdown and also because of the COVID-19 situation. It now looks like junket operators have decided to switch their focus from Macau as they don’t believe the VIP gambling market will recover anytime soon in the Macau peninsula.
Junket operators are now turning their attention to South Korea which is friendlier to gambling tourists than Macau. Many junket operators have now tied up with South Korean casinos and are bringing in VIP gamblers to play at their casinos.
Jeju Dream Tower which is situated on the popular tourist island of Jeju in South Korea is expected to attract close to 1,000 high stakes gamblers in August. Most of these VIP players are going to be from Asia and will be introduced to Jeju Dream Tower via Asian junket operators.
Jeju island allows foreign nationals to visit with a visa free entry on arrival approach. The popularity of K-pop bands are also boosting interest overseas in South Korean music and culture which tends to benefit popular tourist hotspots like Jeju island and casinos like Jeju Dream Tower.
South Korea Benefitting From Australia and Macau Crackdown
Macau isn’t the only location that has come down hard on junket operators. Australian casinos depended heavily on junket operators to bring in high stakes gamblers from China as top operators like Crown Resorts Melbourne used to derive close to 50 percent of their gross gaming revenues from VIP gamblers.
Crown Resorts has got in trouble with gaming regulators and so has rival Star Entertainment for their ties to junket operators and individuals who have ties to triads in Asia. As a result, Australia casinos have also closed their doors to junket operators and VIP gamblers which has turned out to be a big positive for South Korea.