The region of Macau, known to many as ‘the Las Vegas of Asia’ is the world’s biggest land-based gambling destination.
However, despite attracting hordes of keen gamblers from throughout Asia and beyond, it can still experience dips in revenue just like anywhere else.
The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau recently released figures showing just how much the region had generated. In October 2019, Macau’s gross gaming revenue was MOP26.44 billion, or $3.28 billion – this is a 3% fall compared with the figure for October 2018.
The fact that Macau experienced a year-on-year decline in gross gaming revenue isn’t exactly unheard of. According to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau’s publishings, the region experienced a 4% dip in gross gaming revenue in July and a 9% dip in August.
For September, however, the results were more positive: gross gaming revenue did indeed grow, though it was only a growth of 0.6%. So far, out of the ten months of the year that have passed, six of them have generated less gross gaming revenue than the same months of the previous year.
So far this year, the region’s gross gaming revenue is down 2% compared with this time last year. Industry analysts and market experts have put the decline down to the fact that VIP spending throughout the region’s casinos hasn’t been as strong as last year.
Even though general growth remains strong, a reduction in VIP spending can have quite an impact, since VIPs are known to spend exceptionally large sums of money at the gaming tablets.
It’s expected that things aren’t going to change much for Macau throughout November and December, and that the ten-month figure of a 2% may well be an accurate prediction of what the figure for 2019 as a whole will be.
The Factors at Play
There are various factor that are thought to have contributed to the decline in VIP spending. These include the ongoing political protests in Hong Kong and slow economic growth due to the China-USA trade agreements.
There’s also the fact that at the start of October, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic in China was celebrated. It’s been something of a regular occurrence for Chinese VIPs to stay away from Macau casinos during national holidays and instead stay at home.
Macau’s gross gambling revenue for 2018 was MOP302.846 billion, or $37.6 billion. This was a 14% growth from the 2017 figure. Whether 2019’s figure will be better or worse than the previous year’s remains to be seen.
Even with these slight declines, the region remains the world’s top gambling destination by far, generating significantly more revenue than other gambling destinations.
The World’s Gambling Capital
Gambling in Macau has been legal since the 1850s. Today, gambling makes up roughly half of the region’s economy.
A large percentage of gamblers come from mainland China and Hong Kong. Over the last decade or so, it’s begun attracting a growing number of international visitors, which helped it surpass Las Vegas as the world’s gambling capital.
Macau remains the only place in China where gambling is legal, hence the reason why so many of the people who visit are Chinese.
There are a total of 38 casinos and casino resorts to be found here, including some of the largest in the world. Gambling here is available to those aged 21 and above only.