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Travel & Leisure

Macao casino operators prepare to evict junket rooms

More than 10,000 VIP sector workers to be affected

All 85 of Macao's issued junket licenses are due to expire on Dec. 31. It is unclear whether the gaming regulator will renew any.    © AP

HONG KONG -- Most of the casino VIP rooms where Chinese high rollers would wager tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single hand of a baccarat are set to close by the end of the month, according to industry figures.

The closures follow on the heels of the arrest of Alvin Chau, chairman of Suncity Group, the city's top junket operator, and the shuttering of its VIP rooms within the gaming houses of all six of Macao's casino companies. The moves are set to mark a major turning point for the city's gaming sector, the world's largest, amid Beijing's hardened stance toward companies that draw its citizens and their cash offshore for wagering.

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