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Decline of 48.6% of revenues in the casinos in Macau

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Decline of 48.6% of revenues in the casinos in Macau
Written by Peter Lacazio on Friday, March 27, 2015

Revenues of the Macau casinos declined by almost a half during the month of February, particularly because of the anti-corruption campaign that pushes Chinese officials to be more discreet in the VIP gaming rooms of the former Portuguese colony. Official data shows that the overall turnover of the various establishments declined by 48.6% over the month and reached only $2.45 billion, which is the largest decline to date on record in the region.

Towards a phase of stabilisation

It has been 9 consecutive months that the income of the land-based casinos in Macau have been declining. Because of this, Beijing encourages the semi-autonomous territory to diversify its economy as quickly as possible. The poor results in the area began in February 2014, just after the industry had reached a record high of $4.76 billion. To explain this low performance, experts first mentioned the anti-corruption campaign from the Chinese government, who wants the top regime officials to not squander their money ostentatiously. This had led to a significant decline in revenues of the VIP gaming rooms, after which many people had begun to lose faith in the industry. This explains the current decline. Nevertheless, it still must be said that the last days of February showed some increase in revenues. Analysts expected that the market would do even worse and decline 56.3%. This proves that the market might stabilise in March. However, we will now have to wait for the official results to tell you more.

Some success in the mass market

Following of the anti-corruption campaign in China, which was led by President Xi Jinping, the various casinos of Macau sought to diversify their target market. Now they want to attract more and more of the mass market in this area. So far they recorded some success, as general player numbers are increasing, which minimises some of the major losses of the VIP rooms.

New investment projects unrelated to casino operations

Beijing also encourages investors who are looking for new projects on the famous Cotai Strip, the main artery of Macau. Some projects should be built at the end of the year and turn the area into a tourist destination of international class, attracting visitors from around the world with attractions unrelated to gambling. These projects are particularly well regarded by all casino operators who hope to attract these new visitors to Macau for anything other than the casinos. However, they also think that some visitors will still visit the casinos and spend some money there.

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