August 11, 2015—Berstein Research shows the Chinese government is cracking down on all junket operators, including agents trying to promote other Asian casino destinations. Over the weekend, the Chinese government showed their hand at targeting casinos in South Korea and the Philippines, and not just Macau junket operators. Operation Chain Break is reportedly trying to break the Chinese money flow from going into foreign casinos. During the weekend police in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Beijing, and Hebei targeted South Korean agents who were scouting VIP gamblers in China. There is a possibility the operation is going to target tourism agencies, which are known to help gamblers obtain foreign visas.
A note reported in major Asian gambling news outlets said, “We reiterate our view that over the long run, Macau’s loss is no one’s gain when it comes to regional competition,” meaning the market share in South Korea, the Philippines, and other nearby markets may see an increase for a time. However, it serves to get the interest of the Chinese government to break down the chain of money flow related to gambling.
The report also indicated that Macau is being targeted for corruption rather than stopping gambling as a whole. It is different than how foreign casinos are being targeted by operation Chain Break. Macau is still going to lose revenue with a projected decrease of up to 36%.
Meanwhile South Korean casinos are trying to win two licenses that will be available to bid on. There are over 30 companies expressing an interest in the available licenses that will allow an integrated resort location in Incheon near the main international airport of Korea. Another will be in a location near Seoul.