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Travel & Leisure

Macao casino operators count cost of junket crackdown

Companies set aside millions for potential losses, see drop in VIP betting

MGM Resorts cited increased regulatory scrutiny and restrictions for its decision to suspend links with Macao junkets, which cut into its revenue.    © Reuters

HONG KONG -- After weeks of silence about the abrupt disappearance of the junket agents who had been top sources of clientele for years, Macao casino operators are finally acknowledging the impact on their business.

Half the city's six operators recorded year-on-year declines in revenue in the October to December quarter due to the drop-off in VIP betting, according to financial updates. Two have had to set aside tens of millions of dollars to cover expected losses from the collapse of junkets. Others have warned that the authorities could punish them for agents' past misdeeds.

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