Macau Casino Firm Seeking to Diversify Business

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Macau Legend announces plan to create “independent third party” under its own umbrella to get around city’s gaming regulations.

The Macau-based casino firm Macau Legend Development recently told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that it plans to “diversify its business and indirectly participate in the gaming promotion business.”

The company currently operates two casinos under a service agreement with concessionaire SJM Holdings. According to Macau gambling laws a single company cannot both operate and promote a casino. The term “promoter” refers to independent third-party companies which interactive directly with gamblers and does such activities as making loans and recovering debts.

Legend wants to cut red tape, engage gambler directly

In a strange quirk of the city’s gambling laws, those using Macau poker rooms don’t place bets directly with the casino. Their bet is legally placed with the casino promoter. Macau Legend wants to break down that barrier by creating a promoter under its own umbrella.

The company’s plan is to form the promoter under the leadership of Mr. Yip Wing Fat, who is a member of Legend’s senior management. They may have stumbled upon a legal loophole, but critics warn that gaming regulators are unlikely to view a company operated by a senior manager as an “independent third party.”

Regulators may brand the new company as a trust and refuse to allow it to provide services to gamblers on behalf of Macau Legend. Regardless of outcome, the story is telling of the resourceful, enterprising nature of Macau’s burgeoning casino magnates.

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