According to the numbers released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the gross gaming revenue in Macau dropped 21.4% in January year on year to 18.67 billion patacas or $2.33 billion. The numbers are in line with the 18-26% decline industry experts had predicted.
It’s the 20th consecutive month of casino revenue decline in Macau, the biggest casino gaming hub in the world. Historically, Macau’s gaming revenue drops in the weeks leading up to the Chinese New Year, a lunar week-long holiday, and this year the event will kick off February 7th-13th. The revenue often weakens due to the lead up of the CNY.
The former Portuguese colony has been beaten up by the government’s anti corruption measures, which have been going on for two years and this has slowed growth in the boarder economy of China. However, experts believe that the worst may be over. The casinos operated by Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn showed pretty strong fourth quarter revenues. The reason for this is the increase in mid class players, which are also known as mass market gamblers.
The casinos that used to rely on the rich VIP players for most of their gaming revenues are now focusing on these players. It is predicted that the Chinese New Year holiday will increase the number of mid class players which accounts for up to two thirds of all visitors expected. Union Gaming predicts that the gap between mid and high roller players will increase as the year progresses.