Macau’s department of gaming recently confirmed that gaming revenue has fallen for the 16th consecutive month. This drop in gaming revenue is due to the anti-corruption crackdown launched by Beijing in 2014 that targeted VIP gamblers from Mainland China.
The operation has been successful for Macau’s authorities because it appears to have scared away corrupt officials and VIP gamblers who were not willing to disclose the source of the funds. At the same time, the anti-corruption crackdown has hit the casinos hard because the VIP gamblers from Mainland China generated more than 50% of all gaming revenue.
Casino’s in Macau where counting on the celebrated Golden Week holiday in China which was being celebrated during the first week of October. The holiday is a time when a number of visitors from Mainland China head over to Macau to visit the casinos and test their luck during the Golden Week.
Macau is just an hour away by ferry from Guangzhou, Shenzen and Hong Kong. Thousands of visitors use the ferry to reach Macau on a daily basis but Typhoon Mujigae turned up during the Golden Week and discouraged Mainland visitors from visiting Macau. The typhoon was given a number 3 warning and circled Macau on Sunday causing Macau’s airport to reschedule flights and the ferries to rework the timings.
The 1st of October is China’s National day and the number of total visitors to Macau rose by 7.6% when compared to 2014. The number of visitors from Mainland China grew by 18.3% when compared to 2014 according to data released by Macau’s Public Security Police. On the 2nd of October, those numbers continued to climb and went up by 18.3 percent when compared to 2014. However, after Sunday’s typhoon Mujigae, the number of visitors significantly dropped and made the aggregate between 1st October to 4th October just 1.9% when compared to 2014.
The biggest gambling hub in the world is now facing a serious threat from the decline of visitors from Mainland China and casino establishments are very concerned about their future. Beijing has also been keeping a close watch on the revenue being generated by Macau’s casino industry and has suggested that they might take steps to revive the struggling casino industry.
Li Gang, the director of the Chinese government’s local liaison office stated that Beijing will soon put forward a proposal on how it plans to improve the casino industry in Macau. While there has been indication as to what those changes will be, gaming analysts believe that Beijing will most likely relax visa restrictions for Mainland Chinese in order to get them to visit Macau more frequently.