Casino industry: Macau downturn finally ends

Recent years, particularly those between 2014 and 2016 have brought arduous times for Macau, with many establishments running at a deficit and VIP players spending very little time there. Slowly but surely though, this trend has been changing through the latter part of 2016 and also 2017. This week, for the first time in three years, Macau has posted annual figures which show gaming revenue growth.


Annual figures released by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau show the figure for 2017 rose 19.5% to MOP 265.7 billion ($33 billion), following 17 months of progress in terms of monthly gains. This turnaround comes in the wake of a disastrous decline which came about in 2014 after anti-corruption measures were introduced by mainland China.

While the current market still has not recovered to the levels seen during its peak, this growth is highly significant not just because of the positive figure, but the fact that it is comfortably high. 19.5% is quite a large rise, and could potentially see the market go on to reach new heights in the next few years.

The new MGM Cotai casino which is set to open in a few weeks should give a further boost to the gaming economy in Macau, but most of the growth seen to this point is undoubtedly down to VIPs returning once again and bringing their money back to the tables.

In 2013, Macau’s takings hit an all-time high of $45 billion and seemed to only be heading in one direction. But then 26 months of consecutive losses hit. It is only after 17 months of profits and recovery, that hopes are now raised that the $33 billion taken this year is the first step in a long period of prosperity for the region.

Article by Craig Bradshaw