Macau defends free food at casinos

MGTO Deputy Chief Cheng Wai Tong says free food at casinos will not impact local restaurants, as non-gaming visitors spend even more at these local eateries. 

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Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Deputy Chief Cheng Wai Tong has voiced that the free food and drinks at casinos will not negatively impact local restaurants.

In fact, visitors are found to be spending even more in local eateries despite this, as he was quoted by Macau news agencies. 

Cheng also added that non-gaming spending in 2023 and Q1 2024 have increased when compared to 2019 figures, while per capita spending of tourists have also risen. His example included data from the Japanese and Korean markets, noting that spending per capita for the former had increased by 21 percent in comparison to 2019. 

Cheng’s response was made amid reports that the Government is pressuring concessionaires to end the free food practice, after some parties have raised concerns that the complimentary food and beverages will cause losses of business and revenue to local restaurants and eateries.

However, there have been no official government updates regarding this issue as of now. 

Currently, casinos in Macau still offer complimentary food and drinks, which are mainly snacks such as egg tarts, dim sum and bubble tea to their visitors.

Tourism, along with the gaming sector, is one of Macau’s biggest revenues. Earlier, the IMF mentioned that the return of tourism has contributed to Macau’s economic recovery post-pandemic. Macau has also seen a significant rise in its May 2024 GGR, proving that both sectors are going strong moving forward this year. 


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