Macau is famous all over the Asian market as the gambling heaven. However, it seems that it struggles with non-gaming investments. As Zeng Zhongly, a professor from the Center for Gaming and Tourism Studies at the Macao Polytechnic University, thinks, the gaming operators from the city would have to try to repeat the same mistakes that already happened with non-gaming investments to establish economic diversification in the region.
Bigger investment in the non-gaming projects:
The professor thinks that more creativity is required in order to get on track with non-gaming projects. That approach is required if gaming operators want to stay on top during their 10-year concessions in Macau.
The Macau government recently decided that the necessary steps towards diversification of the local economy include planning and implementing new strategies. Six gaming operators already submitted their proposals during the Q1 of this year, which helped in adjusting the government’s plan. The public hearing is scheduled for June, and that’s when the audience will know more details about the changes.
Zeng commented on this course of events, saying that “future-oriented planning” is necessary for local government. Among other things, the government should put effort into analyzing technological developments and how they align with the customers’ preferences. However, both operators and the government should be ready to change and adjust their plans if the research shows that customers want something different and try to fulfill their wishes. Zeng underlined the fact that the tourism industry in Macau depends on regular visitors since the domestic market practically doesn’t exist. Most of the visitors are coming from mainland China and Hong Kong, and the market should change to satisfy its preferences if Macau wants to maintain its position in the Asian market.
New proposals by the gaming operators:
New contracts that the government signed with operators require them to submit their proposals and investment plans during the first quarter of the year, so the operators submitted their plans on March 16th. Now it’s the government’s turn to revise its own plans and adjust them in order to establish the best possible atmosphere for growing a strong gaming market. Macau has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions at the moment, and the market will need more time to recover, although the revenue started increasing after dropping the measures.
The authorities want gaming operators to invest more resources into non-gaming facilities in Macau, and the operators agreed to invest more in MICE, entertainment, and sports-related activities.
New non-gaming facilities are launched by some operators, like Studio City and Galaxy. However, these facilities, in which many billions of dollars were invested, weren’t included in the required investments under new licenses the companies got, so it might take a while to actually get some of the invested money back.t