Macau casinos coming back to life as fears of crackdown subside
Along with a recovery in luxury goods demand, China’s gambling meca seeing revival of growth
Gross gaming revenue in Macau finally started to grow again in August of last year, after more than two years of shrinking, as fears of Beijing’s anti-corruption drive begin to subside, reports the Financial Times.
Credit rating agency Fitch forecasts gaming revenue to grow by 12% this year to US$31 billion, up from US$28 billion last year, and still well below the peak of US$45 billion.
“The anti-corruption campaign has seen a moderation in the last few months and there’s also an element of fatigue,” Vitaly Umansky of equity research firm Bernstein says. “High net-worth individuals are sitting back and thinking that ‘If I haven’t been affected by now, then I’m probably OK’.”
There is still concern that if gambling revenue heats up too much, the government will tighten regulations further, and many operators are making efforts to diversify into other tourist attractions.
“The central government has made it clear to us that they don’t want to see gaming revenue shooting up,” Francis Liu of Galaxy Entertainment says. “They want diversification.”