Macau Casino Revenue Soars 21.3% To $3.78bn In NovemberDecember 2, 2013 12:33 pm
Casino revenue in Macau jumped 21.3% to 30.18 billion patacas ($3.78 billion) in November, making it the fourth highest month of 2013. Helping the gambling hub achieve its impressive growth last month was an influx of visitors who were in town to attend the annual Grand Prix motor race, as well as the WBO Welterweight fight between Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios.
The former Portuguese colony was handed back to China in 1999 and by 2007 had surpassed Las Vegas as the world’s biggest gambling hub. Macau is currently home to 35 casinos with a further 8 casinos planned for the near future, although the Chinese government, keen to see the resort diversify away from just gambling, has in recent times encouraged the casinos to concentrate more on offering family oriented leisure and tourism entertainments.
In addition to appealing more to leisure travelers, Macau’s junket operators are also adapting their business to appeal more to middle-class gamblers, rather than relying mostly on VIP wealthy gamblers, who are famed for dropping one million yuan (US$164,000) a bet. In August this year, for instance, mass market table games accounted for 36% of the month’s total gaming revenue, which was an impressive improvement on 26% for the same month last year.
Commenting on the change in strategy, Chien Lee, the former CEO of junket operator Iao Kun Group, said: “More junkets are looking at the cash and premium mass player for business opportunities..The gaming concessionaires [casinos] want to promote the mass market business which is increasing very fast. The concessionaires are raising the bar for VIP club operators and they need to meet higher and higher targets.”
Macau generated around $38 billion in gambling revenue in 2012, up 13.5% compared to a year earlier, while the Las Vegas Strip made $6 billion, up by just 1%. Looking ahead, analysts predict Las Vegas will continue to experience slow growth, compared to Macau which is expected to see its revenues double over the next five years.