Gaming insights Gaming

Junkets to benefit from Crown Resorts arrests: Shephard

Written by Ben Blaschke

The arrests of 18 Crown Resorts employees in China last month could provide a welcome boost for junket operators, according to Silver Heritage President Tim Shephard.

Speaking at the MGS Entertainment Show summit, Shephard believes that the situation with Crown Resorts will see many casino operators shy away from marketing directly into China and instead place greater reliance on junkets to do the work for them.

“We could actually see a swing back to junkets because casino employees going directly into those markets – I think we’ll see them pull back from China so it might be that the junkets come back into play,” he said. “Direct marketing will fall away and junkets will again be the ones casinos look to in order to supply those players.”

Tim McNally, Chairman of NagaCorp Ltd which operates Cambodia’s highly successful NagaWorld resort, said he expected the VIP business to further evolve as a result of the Crown Resorts arrests.

I think you have to recognize that China is a sovereign nation,” he said. “They have established their own policy and laws and if you’re going to operate there you have to be very careful to show the respect and the best efforts to comply.

“At the end of the day we are aware there have been anti-corruption initiatives, changes to the regulatory restraints, a strengthening of the regulatory environment in Macau – and I don’t think it is a short term initiative.

“In my opinion the VIP business, it will be a different model used in 2020 to the one that existed in 2004. The VIP player is not going to disappear but the methodology and the delivery will be different.”