For several years, Macau has been the world capital of gambling, replacing Las Vegas as the premier casino destination. Unfortunately, Macau has taken a tumble over the course of the past year – and new reports show that recovery is far off as the city’s gaming revenue has dropped by a further 49%. According to Sky News, this is the ninth straight month that gaming revenue has declined in Macau.
Falling 49%, this marks the biggest drop since December 2014 when there was a 30.4% year-on-year decline in revenue. The decrease in revenue has followed China’s anti-corruption crackdown in the gambling market. The VIP players that are known to frequent Macau casinos are worried that they will be unfairly scrutinised by the local government – so, they are taking their business elsewhere.
The effects of the crackdown have spread across Asia. Even casinos in Singapore are seeing a decline in business due to local players and tourists choosing to stay away from Asian gambling venues. “With all the current policies from China and the changing sentiment in Macau, we were not expecting the main driver for revenue to improve,” says Jackson Wong, of Simsen International Financial Group.
The misfortune experienced by Macau casinos has had a positive effect on Australia’s gambling market. For years, Australian casino operators have been working hard to attract high roller gamblers from China and across Asia. Now that this particular audience is looking to gamble at international destinations, venues like The Star and Crown Melbourne have presented themselves as suitable alternatives.
As Macau continues to lose gaming revenue, Australia casino operators expect to see an increase in international business. Recovery does not seem to be in the near future of Macau, so there is the potential for local casinos to continue to see an increase in VIP visitors from Asia for quite some time.