Australian Casino Revenues Boosted By Asian Tourism

Macau’s casino industry had enjoyed five years of uninterrupted growth before the Chinese government’s anti-corruption crack down led to an exodus of VIP high rollers from the country’s only legal gambling resort. In fact, it was only in August of 2016 that Macau managed to break a 26 month losing streak stretching back to May 2014 by posting a slight 1.1% increase in revenues.
In the meantime, Australia’s casinos have been benefitting from the situation, with short-term arrivals from China and other parts of Asia doubling to 2.36 million people between 2015 and 2016. Furthermore, while Chinese visitors represent just 4% of casino customers in Australia, that figure rises to a whopping 95% for the lucrative VIP segment.
Needless to say, tourism from China is proving a major boon for casinos down under, and as a note from Citi brokerage explains, Asian tourists have a “higher propensity to gamble and visit casinos relative to tourists from other regions.”
Australia’s casino industry will now be looking at ways to increase the relatively low percentage of non-VIP Asian tourists visiting the main gaming floor, possibly with the introduction of more Asian themed attractions.
Australia is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and in 2015 reported 7.4 million visitor arrivals. It has also become increasingly popular with Southeast Asian countries, such as China, Vietnam, and Thailand, whose own countries have strict regulations concerning gambling. This has positively impacted the country’s overall casino industry which last year generated $6.7 billion in revenues, or around $350 million more than Las Vegas. In the meantime, Las Vegas, too, has been doing its utmost to attract Asian tourists, with one of its upcoming attractions including the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino which is expected to open on December 3rd. As CEO David Jacoby, explains:
“We are filling a niche in Las Vegas and we’re thrilled to bring such a carefully curated array of Asian-focused gaming options, restaurants and amenities to Las Vegas.”

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