Macau’s gaming operators spent MOP8.8 billion (US$1.1 billion) in 2015 on “comps”: complimentary accommodation and complimentary food and beverage offered to clients. That is according to data disclosed this week by the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
The figure represented a decline of 12.9 percent compared to 2014, when total comps stood at MOP10.1 billion.
The data compiled by the statistics bureau show 2015 expenditure on complimentary accommodation by gaming operators for customers in 2015 was MOP5.7 billion, accounting for 46.4 percent of the city’s entire hotel room sales.
The data did not provide a breakdown by gaming operator.
Five-star rooms are typically the category used by Macau casino resorts to accommodate VIP gamblers. Such accommodation may – depending on the value to the house of the VIP gambler and/or the individual casino’s arrangement with the junket bringing in the player – be offered to the player free of charge.
Five-star rooms are typically the most expensive in the Macau hotel sector: a room in this category cost on average MOP1,841 in 2015, more than double the average rate for a 4-star hotel room during the same period, show data from the Macau Hotel Association.
Macau’s gaming operators spent MOP3.1 billion in 2015 on complimentary food and beverage services, the data additionally indicate. That accounted for 55.5 percent of all tourist spending in Macau on such services, according to estimates by the statistics bureau.
The annual decline in comps provided by casino operators in 2015 coincided with a period of gaming revenue contraction in Macau, particularly in the VIP segment. Since the second half of 2016, the sector has rebounded.
Macau’s casino sector recorded gross gaming revenue of MOP230.84 billion in 2015, down by 34.3 percent compared to MO351.5 billion in 2014.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters