Monday August 3,2015 : MACAU NUMBERS DOWN AGAIN IN JULY
But the decline appears to be easing a little as Chinese visa restrictions are loosened.
The latest numbers from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau show that the decline in gambling revenues continued in Macau during July, falling 34.5 percent on a year-on-year comparison basis to 18.6 billion patacas (US$2.3 billion) and hovering around five-year lows as wealthy Chinese punters continued to stay away.
Analysts pointed out that the decline was narrower than the 36 percent drop in June, commenting that the downward spiral of Macau’s casino industry appears to be showing slight signs of abating, possibly due to a loosening of Chinese via restrictions starting early July.
The industry’s decline has been less aggressive since February 2015, when revenue plunged by a record 48.6 percent, and analysts appear confident that the easing will continue for the rest of this year, although declines will continue.
Revenues have now been falling for the past 14 months, driven by a Chinese government crackdown on ostentatious behaviour and corruption, exacerbated by a slowing Chinese economy and visa restrictions. Despite this prolonged drop, Macau casinos still generate revenues over 5 times greater than Las Vegas.
Macau land casino shares have fallen between 10 percent and 28 percent this year, and last month Lionel Leong, secretary for Economy and Finance on the island, warned that the government would have to consider austerity measures should revenue drop below 18.35 billion patacas.
Official Macau numbers show that VIP gaming revenue fell to 55 percent in the second quarter from around 70 percent in the comparable period last year..
On a year-to-date basis, GGR has fallen 36.7 percent, and some analysts believe the full year 2015 numbers will show an overall decline of 30 percent. Better times are expected in 2016, most observers agree on present indications.