Friday, 23 March 2012

A Junket Junkie

As a child I remember junket for what it was; a less than salubrious, congealed substance that masqueraded as dessert. A poor man's custard if you will.

If you have ever eaten a raw oyster then the sensation of it sliding down the throat was somewhat similar, with a markedly different taste and a lot less effect on the libido..

'Junket' in casino terms means something entirely different. A Junket is a organised group of gamblers, which is typically organised by the casino to attract players and this usually mean an increase in high rollers.

So it is not surprising that shares in Genting Singapore have surged 8.6 percent . This past Friday Singapore decided to license two Malaysian junket operators which will see high rollers coming across the Causeway - come to think of it they will probably fly in by private jet.

According to a report in TodayOnline, the licensing authority "does not intend to let junkets dominate the gaming business here and vowed to take a "cautious approach" to ensure criminal activities, which junket operators have been linked with, do not creep into the Republic's casinos."

Mind you, the government has had its hand forced a bit as it would appear illegal junket operations have been in place for a while. A Japanese businessman who is being sued by Marina Bay Sands over a $2 million gambling debt claims that he gained access to their VIP gaming rooms through a Nevada-licensed junket operator. It is not uncommon for illegal operators to get kick-backs from a casino so it is appropriate that Singapore's' Casino Controlling Authority takes a really dim view of such activity.

Now that they have two licensed operators there will be a modicum of control, but I doubt if it will remove the problem of illegal operators entirely.

And lets face it, without the profits from the two casinos (masquerading as 'resorts') the local economy in the global downturn could 'turn to custard'.
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