The total spending – excluding gaming expenses – of visitors to Macau fell by the seventh consecutive quarter measured in year-on-year terms, according to data released on Friday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service. Tourist spending for the period between April and June amounted to MOP11.70 billion (US$1.46 billion) compared to MOP12.25 billion in the prior-year period.
Quarterly non-gaming spending by visitors to Macau began declining – measured in year-on-year terms – in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Per-capita spending of visitors has also been decreasing year-on-year for seven consecutive quarters. It stood at MOP1,601 in the second quarter of 2016, down by 4.0 percent in year-on-year terms.
A statistics bureau analysis of the structure of non-gaming consumption showed that visitors spent money mainly on shopping, accounting for 43.4 percent of all non-gaming spending. That was followed by accommodation (26.8 percent), and food and beverages (20.9 percent).
Macau recorded a total of 7.31 million visitor arrivals between April and June, a year-on-year decline of 0.5 percent.
Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the second quarter of 2016 was MOP51.61 billion, down by 9.2 percent in year-on-year terms. Monthly GGR in Macau has been declining – measured in year-on-year terms – since May 2014.
The slump in visitor non-gaming spend comes as the Macau government continues to pressure casino operators to increase the amount and type of non-gaming offerings available in new casino resorts under development on Cotai. Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac, has repeatedly stated that the government’s allocation of new-to-market gaming tables for such resorts would be made based on “consideration of several factors”, including the new non-gaming features to be offered by each property.
Under the Macau government’s proposed Five-Year Development Plan – a recently-announced package of social and economic policies covering the period 2016 to 2020 – the authorities want to see non-gaming revenue at the city’s casino resorts rise as a proportion of all revenue.
By 2020 the Macau government wishes to see such non-gaming revenue account on average for at least 9 percent of all revenue generated by casino operators, compared to an estimated 6.6 percent in 2014.
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"The MSAR [Macau Special Administrative Region] Government is always maintaining its policy not to have imported labour to work as dealers. This position has not changed"
Lionel Leong Vai Tac
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance