The government of Macau reportedly issued a warning yesterday detailing that the city’s first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) had dropped by some 3.2% year-on-year in real terms due in large part to a downturn in internal investment and tourist spend.

Gambling expenditure:

According to a report citing official figures from the enclave’s Statistics and Census Service, the results for the three months to the end of March concluded ten consecutive quarters of year-on-year GDP growth and showed that the comparative amount visiting gamblers had contributed to the local economy had shrunk by 0.6%.

Tourism trouble:

GGRAsia reported that the government statistics also revealed that the sum of cash tourists had spent in Macau on non-gambling activities over the three-month period had decreased by 0.3% year-on-year while real investment had plummeted by 32.1%. The notification purportedly moreover blamed this weakening on ‘feeble growth’ that had led ‘to increased downward pressure on the economy’ despite a comparable 21.2% rise in the number of quarterly visitors.

Reportedly read a statement from the Statistics and Census Service…

“Exports of gaming services and other tourism services reversed from an uptrend.”

Rocketing revenues:

Macau is home to over 35 casinos including the giant MGM Cotai venue from Hong Kong-listed operator MGM China Holdings Limited as well as SJM Holdings Limited’s iconic Casino Grand Lisboa and it reportedly saw GDP for the whole of 2018 grow by around 4.7% year-on-year. This result purportedly marked a second consecutive annual rise and came as twelve-month aggregated gross gaming revenues swelled by around 14% to reach almost $37.5 billion.

However, Macau has since reportedly recorded a 0.5% year-on-year decline in first-quarter aggregated gross gaming revenues to slightly above $9.4 billion although May’s result of about $3.2 billion was some 1.8% better off than for the same 31-day period in 2018.