Macau casino revenues decline again

Feb 1, 2016 9:43 AM

Macau’s casinos posted another decline during January, the 20th consecutive month of revenues falling short of the same year earlier periods.

The three-dozen casinos won 23.7 billion patacas ($2.3 billion) during the month, a total that was 21.4 percent less than January a year ago.

Some analysts have found good news in the fact that the rates of decline have slowed during the last two months, but as an MGM executive confided, “this is what the future looks like. The biggest spenders have kind of vanished, or they are going elsewhere. But there is still a lot of money to be made here.”

Analysts continue to cite the slowing Chinese economy and the government’s continuing anti-corruption investigation as major factors in the slowdown.

With the three Las Vegas-based companies scheduled to open multi-billion dollar Macau resorts this year, the numbers are being carefully analyzed. Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and MGM are looking for good news and indicators of the market’s direction.

For instance, LVS executives have begun defining marketing success in terms of what the so-called mass market is doing. References to VIP players and the impact of junket operators have mostly disappeared.

That’s what Melco Crown has done, switching more of its focus to the mass market. Its Hollywood-themed Studio City property opened in October with no separate VIP facilities for Chinese high-rollers.

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