Macau Court of Final Appeal Rules Casinos Jointly Liable in Junket Debt Cases
- Wynn Macau Ltd and MGM China will share liability with junkets in nine cases
- Both casinos could end up paying millions in deposit refunds following the ruling
- Junket operators continue to pull out of Macau following the arrests of their bosses
Local casinos in Macau should share liability with junket operators concerning multiple debt claim cases. That was the ruling handed down by Macau’s Court of Final Appeal which recently announced its sentences in nine cases concerning junket debts.
Casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd and gambling junket Dore Entertainment Co Ltd which operated at the casino establishment located at Rua Cidade de Sintra, Nape, Macau were the defendants in eight of the cases, while the other case was lodged against MGM China Holdings Ltd and junket operator Suncity Group.
The complainants in all nine cases accused the junkets of failing to honor the withdrawal of funds previously deposited with either Dore or Suncity. These junkets, referred to in Macau as “gaming promoters“, had kept customers’ money deposited in the form of gaming chips. The ruling has left both the junket operators and their concessionaires on the hook for millions in funds which must be returned to the affected parties.
Macau’s Court of Final Appeal already ruled back in November 2021 that Wynn Macau Ltd was partly liable for an HKD6-million player deposit which was stolen by a former Dore employee. That ruling was upheld on May 16.
Wynn Macau Ltd referenced the shared liability in its annual report filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in April, confirming it was obliged to pay a refund amounting to approximately HKD9.3 million to the litigant in the case. The casino stated recently that the debt claims currently have no material impact on its business.
Meanwhile, MGM China could reimburse up to HKD202.7 million to junket customers when all cases against the casino concerning junket debts are taken into account. According to its annual report released in March, three civil cases had been filed against the company regarding customer deposits at junkets operating at the casino.
Macau’s VIP Gambling Headed for Shutdown
The VIP gambling market has continued to shrink in Macau, as authorities impose tougher restrictions on their operations in the region and mainland China. The sector was impacted further by the arrest of Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, the founder of Suncity Group, Macau’s biggest junket operator. The gambling executive was detained in November on cross-border gambling charges.
Earlier this year, another junket boss was arrested, Levo Chan Weng Lin, the head of Tak Chun. He was accused of being a triad leader.
David is our resident 'down under' contributor, letting us know what is going on in the southern hemisphere, he is also keen blackjack player