Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau released on Monday information about the financial performance of the city’s six casino operators in July. Gaming revenue in the Chinese administrative region fell 34.5% year-on-year to MOP18.6 billion ($2.3 billion), meeting analysts’ preliminary estimates.
This was the fourteenth consecutive month when revenue at the world’s biggest gambling hub plunged. However, experts pointed out that the slump has been abating since February 2015, when Macau’s operators posted record drop of 48.6%. David Bain, analyst at Sterne Agee CRT, commented that this trend is expected to continue through the upcoming months.
The once thriving Macau casino industry is now in a bit difficult situation due to the overall economic downturn in China as well as the anti-corruption campaign launched by President Xi Jinping. It resulted in fewer high rollers from Mainland China traveling to the administrative region, which is the only place within the country’s boarders where casino gambling is allowed.
Last month, Macau’s government surprisingly eased the entry rules for people coming from Mainland China in an attempt to save its casino industry. As of July 1, Chinese visitors were allowed to travel to the city more frequently and to stay there a bit longer. Some expressed hopes that this would be the first of many policies that would help Macau and its casinos.
Gaming revenue at the administrative region’s gambling venues has dropped 36.7% since the beginning of the year. Analysts believe that it may fall up to 30% for the whole year. However, the casino industry is expected to rebound in 2016 and to post a 4.5% increase in the generated proceeds.
Casino operators have pointed out that they hope the opening of new gambling venues would attract more visitors to the city and would result in a rise in the gambling revenue.
Galaxy Entertainment launched two new gambling properties back in May. Melco Crown Entertainment is to open its $3.2-billion Studio City sometime this fall. Casino mogul Steve Wynn announced last week that Wynn Palace, Wynn Resorts’ Cotai Strip project, would probably open doors for visitors on March 25, 2016. Last but not least, the Parisian, developed by Sands China, is scheduled to have its official opening in the summer of 2016.
Last month, Lionel Leong Vai Tac, Secretary for Economy and Finance, said that Macau’s government would launch austerity measures in case the city’s casino revenue drops below MOP18.35 billion. With the amount of MOP18.6 billion being reported for July, it seems that such measures may not be introduced or at least not for now.