Macau has a bright future as China’s gambling hub. President Xi Jinping called for the city to improve its economy as the former Portuguese colony celebrated its 20th anniversary of returning to China.
President Xi said city officials must find its main economic focus and create critical projects for the territory’s diversification. Also, he said the city needed to utilize national strategies, including the Belt and Road trade infrastructure campaign and the Greater Bay Area connecting Macau with Hong Kong and the mainland.
Macau needs to diversify its sources of business. According to pay per head for agents, the city’s gaming revenue this year is its first decline since 2016. High rollers opted to go to other Asian markets as China’s economy slows down.
The Reinvention of China’s Gambling Hub
Macau is trying to follow the model of Las Vegas, which was the city it overtook in 2006 to become the most significant gambling hub in the world. At present, it wants to diversify into other related activities, such as family-friendly entertainment.
Macau told Gambling Product providers that it wants to attract mass-market tourists. It doesn’t want to depend on junket operators. Instead, it wants to attract middle-class consumers who remained resilient despite China’s economic slowdown.
The middle-class consumers visit Macau to watch shows, shop and eat at various restaurants. Also, they do spend some time at blackjack tables and slot machines. Early this year, the mass market already overtook VIPS in terms of their casino spending.
In Vegas, 34 percent of its revenue came from gambling. On the other hand, Macau gets 80 percent of its revenue from gambling. Instead of learning how to become a bookie, Macau officials should concentrate on providing other forms of entertainment to its visitors.
The important thing is to lower reliance on VIPs and expand the range of entertainment opportunities. Also, Macau should reinvent itself into becoming a family-friendly destination.