MACAU'S DECEMBER REVENUES CONTINUE UPWARD TREND
Last month of 2016 delivers a year-on-year increase of 8 percent…but full year revenue remains in the doldrums.
The Macau regulator has released full year 2016 and December 2016 revenue figures, reporting that in December the Asian gambling hub saw revenues rise 8 percent y-o-y to 19.8 billion patacas, continuing the upward trend of recent months.
However, viewed for the full year, the numbers were down 3.3 percent year-on-year at 223.2 billion patacas ($28.0 billion)…a third year of decline following central government clampdowns on corruption and high-rolling officials.
The performances were pretty much in line with analyst expectations.
The regulator reported that new casino resorts opened in the third quarter of 2016 contributed to the attractions of the gambling island, drawing more mass market visitors, and even triggered an improvement in VIP high roller attendance.
The Reuters news agency quotes land casino industry experts as saying that they believe the Macau slump has now bottomed out amid a perception that the Chinese government's campaign is winding down.
Some anticipate better long-term prospects given investments in new supply, improvements in mass market indicators and under-penetration of gaming throughout the rest of Asia. They also note the improvement in transportation facilities to the island, which should help to boost mass-market visitor numbers.
However, they point to rising competition from more casino resorts planned by major gambling groups in the years ahead, and the rise of neighboring gambling markets in Saipan, the Philippines, Cambodia and South Korea.