In Macau, Economy and Finance Secretary Lionel Leong Vai Tac (pictured) has reportedly announced that the city is to continue with its policy of encouraging local casino firms to diversify their offerings so as to encompass more non-gaming attractions.
According to a Monday report from GGRAsia, Leong stated that such a strategy will help the former Portuguese enclave to attract an even wider range of visitors while moreover assisting the casino industry in becoming more sustainable and less reliant on high-grossing but often unreliable VIP gamblers.
The Friday revelation from Leong also included a disclosure that mass-market gamblers are ‘far more diversified’ and often visit areas outside of the city’s traditionally gambling-friendly downtown and Cotai Strip areas. He declared that this is a far more reliable way of spreading visitor load and tourist cash across the whole of Macau.
Leong furthermore revealed that mass-market players had accounted for around half of Macau’s aggregated gross gaming revenues in January and February as opposed to approximately ‘20% to 30% in the past.’ He went on to add that such a change had resulted in a ‘better’ revenue structure and assisted the city in becoming more ‘resilient’ against economic fluctuations.
Gaming revenues retreat:
Leong’s revelation came after the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau had detailed a year-on-year increase of only 4.4% in February aggregated gross gaming revenues. This means that such takings since the start of January stand at around 0.5% lower than for the same two-month period in 2018 although the International Monetary Fund had purportedly earlier explained that it expects Macau to chalk up overall economic growth this year of approximately 5.3%.
According to a February 25 filing from the International Monetary Fund…
“The main driver of medium-term growth is tourism with mass gaming and non-gaming tourism further expanding but more subdued VIP gaming growth in line with authorities’ diversification efforts towards more stable sources of growth.”