Macau Casinos Generates Record $4.8 billion In FebruaryMarch 3, 2014 2:32 pm
Casinos in the Chinese territory of Macau have set a new all-time monthly revenue record after posting a massive MOP38.0 billion (US$4.8 billion)in February, smashing the previous record of MOP36.5 billion set in October, 2013. Overall, Macau casino gaming revenues were up by 40.3% year-on-year, even though February represented the shortest month of the year.
Accounting for Macau’s bumper month was the Chinese New Year holiday, which saw over 770,000 people from mainland China visit Macau during the week-long celebration, a 23% increase over the same period last year.
Impressively, Macau’s growth rate was in excess of the 29% to 35% forecast by experts and compared to its two closest competitors, February’s tally was not far off what Las Vegas ($6.5bn) and Singapore ($6 billion) generated for the whole of last year.
The good news for Macau’s casinos is that further stellar growth rates of between 25% and 30% have been predicted for the rest of 2014, as the former Portuguese colony undertakes new infrastructure projects designed to shorten the journey from mainland China thus enabling greater numbers of Chinese gamblers to visit Macau. In addition, the Chinese gambling hub is expected to expand capacity even further over the next three years as eight new casino resorts are completed.
However, local authorities deem it of the utmost importance to diversify its customer base purely away from gamblers, such as the high-rollers who wager up to $162,700 per bet. Furthermore, growth in this VIP segment is expected to slow to between 5% and 10% annually, and as a result Macau has busily been adding an array of entertainment, retail and convention facilities as it attempts to lure more of China’s ever growing middle classes, who are more likely to visit Macau for its leisure and tourism industry rather than gambling venues.
After Macau completes its transportation network, including the Guangzhou-Zhuhai intercity railway and the Hong Kong-Macao-Zhuhai bridge, the number of same-day visitors to Macau is expected to skyrocket, and as Davis Fong, director of the Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming at the University of Macao, explains:
“Someone living in Guangzhou may get on the train and within 40 minutes will arrive in Macao to see a show or go shopping, spending a couple of hours here and then returning to Guangzhou..same-day visitors may end up making up for 60 to 70 percent of the overall number of tourists visiting Macao, and will thereby become even more important.”