Macau casino revenue outlook grim in 2016

Nov 18, 2015 10:54 AM

Macau’s chief executive believes casino revenue will sink to about 200 billion patacas or $25 billion in 2016, almost half of last year’s revenue and a further decline from what analysts are expecting this year.

“We will try our best to support the economy, Chief Executive Fernando Chui said at a Tuesday news conference when he announced his policy proposals for next year.

He was once again short on specifics about how the government expects to support the casino-dependent Macau economy, according to a Bloomberg report.

Revenue is forecast to fall 32 percent this year to about $30 billion, according to the median estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Chui’s forecast is considered conservative given current business levels, according to Tim Craighead, a gaming analyst with Bloomberg. He said, “We expect the mass market to stabilize and recover. The VIP business has structural challenges that aren’t going to go away any time soon.”

The chief executive also reiterated the need to step up regulation of the city’s gaming promoters, the so-called junket operators who provide credit to high-end players who have avoided Macau during recent months because of the government’s crackdown on corruption.

Many of those gamblers have been lured by a variety of promotions to casinos in Korea and elsewhere in Asia.

Reuters reported that Chinese police recently arrested 13 Korean casino managers and several Chinese agents for the casinos in question. Chinese state television had launched a probe earlier this year into “criminal gangs” that “enticed” Chinese with free tours, free hotels and sexual services.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: [email protected].