Macau’s gross gaming revenue experiences 15th month of decline

By Tom Lewis
Macau’s gross gaming revenue has continued to struggle, decreasing 36% year-on-year from 28.9bn patacas to 18.6bn patacas for the month of August.

The development marks the 15th straight month of year-on-year decline in the Chinese peninsula’s gross gaming revenue.

A record slump of 49% came in February, falling to 19.5bn patacas compared to 38bn patacas in 2014.

Major casinos in the region have seen their profits squeezed by anti-corruption measures introduced by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Such measures include the Macau-mainland banking surveillance scheme, which provides mainland watchdogs with live access to money transfers in Macau through the state-supported UnionPay system.

Macau operator Galaxy Entertainment Group reported a decline in first-half net profit of 66%.

Richard Huang, an analyst at Nomura Holdings, told Bloomberg that “after the opening of Galaxy phase two in May, the downward trend of gaming revenue has been remaining steady, which means incremental revenue brought by the new opening is basically zero.

“The tougher call is when the mass market can really offset the destruction of high-end demand.”

Macau is the only territory in China where casinos are permitted to operate.

The South China Morning Post has reported that a number of casinos in the region have taken out abductions insurance, following a rise in kidnappings over unpaid gambling debts.

Mainland visitors are increasingly shying away from the gaming hub, with Chinese arrivals down 6% in July.
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