China Underground > Essential guide to China > Chinese tourists and Macau

Chinese tourists and Macau

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It was once true that in order to enjoy the thrill of the casino Chinese players needed to travel to Macau with one of Asia’s junket operators but 2020 has been a year unlike any other and just like many other businesses the junket operators have found that their business was on the decline.

Coupled with the stressful times of 2020 this October saw the Chinese Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress planned to amend the nations gambling laws to actually criminalize the organising and soliciting by casinos abroad, although the amendment would not apply to the casinos in Macau.

Those casinos or online gambling operators based in South Korea, Vietnam, Australia and the Philippines would be affected putting further pressure on the region’s junket operators, many of them have spent the last few years or so redirecting their customers to casinos outside of Macau, mainly because of the more favourable gaming tax rates which offered the junkets larger commissions.

Today Macau has only 95 operators still on its books with the government revealing that it collected in the region of $50 (US) in taxes which is down almost one-quarter form 2018. These uncertain times we are facing are hitting every single aspect of lives including junket operators.

What Exactly is a Junket Operator?

A casino junket is a name that is bandied about when talking about the mysterious world of high-class casino gambling – something that the majority of us will never be involved in.

In Macau which is the world’s number one market for casino gambling nearly 70% of all casino revenues come from the VIP rooms with the Junket industry being the largest in Asia Pacific and the United States.

In essence the casino junkets are organised trips which are ‘on the house’ and more often than not it is the junket agent that will contact the gamblers first. These organised trips are marketed as a tourist package which very often includes travel expenses, hotel stay, food and drink besides any other luxuries during the trip. All of these things were in return for a deposit which guarantees that the chosen players were there strictly to play at the casinos.

This guarantee would also include a specified minimum period of time that the player would need to play each day as well as a minimum amount of money they would spend at the casinos. All highrollers would also be given special treatment and privileges within the casino including having their table reserved for them.

The word ‘junket’ is thought to have its origins in China as jin means introducing and ke means customers and was used as a way to introduce customers to the gambling industry and promote tourism back in the 1930’s.

Choosing to Play Online

Of course, these invitations to play at a casino and treated like royalty will not be offered to most of us yet we can play online at sites that are well respected and offer only the most popular games available today.

If you check out Fruityking.co.uk you will find a wide selection of games brought to you by some of the major software providers in the gaming industry ensuring that all the games you play will be full of fun and entertainment.

Fruity King even offers live games which take place in real time from a physical venue and hosted by a real live human crouper or dealer. This means that the experience you will get will be as close to the real thing as you are going to get outside of a land based casino, and that is something a lot of players will enjoy, especially in these days of social distancing.

Image source: pexels

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