Macau junket investor claims top spot in the industry
Neptune Group, a Hong Kong-listed conglomerate, says it is now the biggest investor in casino junkets in Macau based on monthly roll—and by extension, the number one junket investor in the world.
The breakthrough for Neptune came in mid-September when the company’s junket partners added 20 new VIP tables to the inventory marketed under the Neptune brand. It means there are now 172 high roller tables in the Neptune ‘family’.
The latest tables are for the very top players—those rolling a minimum of HK$10 million (US$1.29 million) each per month. When their total contribution of up to HK$5 billion roll per month is added to the operation, it will take the combined monthly rolling of players affiliated to Neptune’s junket partners to HK$35 billion (US$4.51 billion) or possibly more.
Neptune has the widest coverage of any junket investor or junket operator in Macau, the biggest casino jurisdiction in the world by gross revenue. Macau’s market-wide gross for September, driven mainly by high roller baccarat, totalled MOP15.3 billion (US$1.9 billion), a 40% rise from the same month a year earlier, according to data from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
Neptune has partners operating rooms with between 11 and as many as 22 tables at several casinos in Macau. It claims a very professional working relationship with each property.
Between them, Neptune’s junket partners have 15,000 regular players, with 3,000 to 5,000 of those players visiting Macau in any one month. An indication of Neptune’s commercial muscle in the local industry is that the newly opened VIP rooms were renovated specially for the occasion by the casino operator at a cost to the concessionaire of US$20 million.
Typically, Neptune’s junket partners draw 60% to 70% of their VIP customers from the Chinese mainland. Those players usually can roll HK$500,000 per month with a possible ceiling of HK$10 million per month or more.
As well as acting as a marketing partner for junkets, Neptune also helps to capitalize their operations. Previously, Neptune has raised junket working capital by issuing shares on the Hong Kong stock market. But with short-term bank interest rates currently so low, Neptune has no trouble raising junket capital from private individual investors.
Nick Niglio, Executive Director and COO of Neptune Group, puts his company’s prominence in the Macau VIP industry down to hard work by his marketing team and backroom staff in order to create good relationships with junkets and their players.
“We’re not a suit and tie kind of place. Sometimes too much formality can throw people off a little bit.
“Commitment is very important. When a customer calls, you better be there for them.”
He says Neptune has also taken the best customer relations practices from the financial services industry and incorporated them in its business model.
“Every month on the player [credit] settlement date, we give accurate printed statements to all the shareholders, the agents, and their players, of their respective financial position. It aids the efficiency and transparency of the business and all the parties involved appreciate it very much.”