Singapore Begins Issuing Junket Permits In Order to Lure High Rollers
Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority has issued junket-operator permits to two international gaming promoters, Huang Yu Klung and Low Cheng Aun, and has confirmed that they plan to issue more in the future. Junket permits allow outside gaming promoters to bring in high rollers, often from overseas, with gaming promotions and credit extensions in exchange for a commission from a sponsoring casino. Although junkets cut into the bottom line of a casino’s profits, they have proven successful in gaming destinations such as Macau. The Singapore Regulatory Authority runs a notoriously tight ship. The casino gambling ban was lifted in 2005 and since then, Singapore has enacted stringent regulatory requirements on the gaming industry as a means of discouraging organized crime and other criminal activity. Of the two junket licenses issued, twelve others have already been rejected because they have failed to pass the Casino Regulatory’s tough probity standards. There are currently two operating resort casinos in Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands and the Genting Singapore Resorts World Sentosa. Both share a combined total of earnings of 5.7 billion in 2011, and earnings are expected to top 7 billion by the end of this year. The Genting Singapore Resorts World Sentosa is the sponsor of the first two junkets issued. The Bay Sands has not successfully sponsored any junket-operator applicants, but has expressed their support of the issuance of junket licenses. Both Singapore casino operators hope the issuance of junkets will encourage business for the overseas VIP market and will lead to an expansion of high net worth play and the obvious economic benefits.
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