Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance says contraction of gaming sector opens up new prospects

20 January 2016

The people of Macau still have a positive attitude, even at a time when the territory is going through a period of economic adjustment, said the Secretary for Economy and Finance in recent statements to Exmoo News.

“When the economy was growing, rents of office and retail businesses grew at an equally fast pace, so there were no conditions to develop some sectors, but now that economic growth has slowed I think conditions are in place so that development can take place” said Lionel Leong Vai Tac.

Over a decade, the Macau economy recorded a vey fast rate of growth, following the opening up of the gaming sector to more than one concession holder, which allowed it to become the world’s leading centre for gaming and gambling, overtaking Las Vegas.

But since mid-2014, the city has witnessed substantial changes in the gaming industry, with a continued monthly decline of gross revenues and a sharp contraction of the VIP segment.

This casino gaming segment used to represent 70 percent of total revenues peaked at 80 percent before falling back to the current level of 53 percent. In 2014 it stood at 55 percent, with a total of 127.818 billion patacas (US$15.977 billion).

Although the VIP segment recorded a significant contraction, the mass market remained strong, with the Secretary for Economy and Finance considering that the gaming industry in Macau had depended too much and for too long time on gaming agents, the people who ensure casinos get business.

The reduced reliance on gaming agents and the VIP segment and the increase in the mass segment, may, in the opinion of Leong Vai Tac, give the leisure elements in casinos new life, making Macau a leisure and entertainment centre. (macauhub/MO)