Macau showing signs of slowdown

Jul 10, 2008 7:16 PM

by GT Staff | After seven straight years of record-breaking growth, Macau’s casino industry is showing signs of slowing down.

Operators are reporting plunging profits, stock values of some companies have fallen, and one casino even had to lay off staff last week.

Galaxy Entertainment, one of Macau’s six gaming concessionaries, last week cut 270 jobs at two of its casinos.

While casinos revenues shot up a better than expected 69.8 percent last month to about $1.7 million (U.S.) from a year earlier, gaming companies are bleeding share values.

Melco International Development’s stock fell 16.4 percent last week, while Galaxy Entertainment shed 22.6 percent.

Both stocks are down more than 45 percent this year and are trading at their lowest levels since 2005.

"It’s a massacre. There is blood everywhere," said a gaming analyst at a European bank.

The paradox in Macau – a growth rate of 60 percent with no one making a profit – is being blamed on fierce competition among the six major players.

For complete details of the unique market conditions in Macau, see next week’s GamingToday, beginning Tuesday, July 15.