Macau’s Gambling Revenue Grows 14% In 2018, Despite Fears Over Trade War

Popular Asian gambling hub, Macau, has seen impressive growth in its gambling revenue, despite worries that China’s slowing economy and the ongoing trade war with the United States will affect gambling revenue.

Figures show that in December, revenue brought in through gambling recorded a double-digit increase, which was the biggest gain in four months. This has happened at a time where the semi-autonomous Chinese territory tries to bring more visitors – something which the area is keen to do, in order to stop having to rely so heavily on VIP customers.

Macau is an interesting territory – and with around 650,000 people, in terms of capita GDP, it’s one of the wealthiest places on the planet! However, pressure from the Chinese government has forced the territory to diversify its economy (subsequently making it rely less on gambling revenue), and as a result of this, casino’s are routinely beginning to offer far more than just casino games and slots; in addition, we’re seeing them begin to offer far-more other forms of entertainment options.

Despite the move by the Chinese authorities, however, it’s fair to say that Macau’s gambling revenue is still the driving force in the territories economy, and the gross gaming revenue saw a 16.6% increase on the year-on-year figure in the last month of last year, amounting to around $3.28 billion. This information was released last Tuesday by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. This increase is the biggest that the territory has seen in 4 months – proving that gambling revenue is on the rise.

Grant Govertsen – an analyst at Union Gaming – said, on tuesday, that “the mass market remains strong”. He did, however, go on to note that research points at a lower number of VIP visitors in the month of December.

Govertsen also makes an interesting point regarding the newly-finished bridge that connects Macau and Hong Kong with parts of Southern China; the bride was expected to have a large-scale impact on the number of visitors flocking to Macau – and while, technically, the number of visitors has increased – evidence suggests that this increase is actually due to large tour groups transiting through Macau using the bridge, rather than relying on the ferries as they did previously.

“In reality, we believe that true visitation to Macau is increasing modestly,” he stated, noting that the amount each visitor spends, on average was “also up nicely.” Steady mass market growth “underpins the solid fundamentals we continue to see in Macau,” he stated.