Macau Reports First Gaming Revenue Increase in Over Two Years This August

After 26 straight months of year-on-year gaming revenue decreases, Macau, the Las Vegas of Asia, has finally seen an increase this past August, with revenues up 1.1% on this time last year to around $2.4 billion.

The decline of Macau's gaming industry had much to do with mainland China's desire for Macau to concentrate more on the recreational gambler than the high-rolling VIP's, and also for the former Portuguese colony to diversify its industry a little. The hope is that by 2020 that 9% of Macau's revenue would be non-gambling related (the figure sat at 6.6% in 2014).

Revenues started falling in June of 2014 and fell at a rapid pace by around 30% on average year-on-year. However, the slump seems to have stablilised somewhat, with February's revenues only donwn 1% year-on-year, and now finally a slight increase for August's revenues.

It would also appear that China's hopes for a higher concentration on the recreational gamblers are coming to fruition as gains are being made there rather than from the VIP's. China had shown concerns about alleged corruption amongst the high roller junket industry and made moves to crack down on illegal transportation of currency from the mainland to Macau.

The net result has seen the gambling industry in Macau fall from a 2013 high of over $45bn to around $29bn in 2015. It's worth noting, however, that this still makes Macau's gambling industry twice the size of Las Vegas's.

Also, despite the 'downturn' Macau is obviously still seen as a fertile and valuable environment for investment as some $20bn has been thrown at the the region by casino operators in the past couple of years with multi-billion dollar casino/entertainment venues being opened either this year or next by the likes of Wynn, Sands, and MGM.


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