Macau’s electronic table game market could grow by around 2,000 seats in the next five years with the rest of Asia also likely to benefit. A research note from Union Gaming Group, reported by Inside Asian Gaming, stated that Macau’s market “could grow from over 3,500 seats today, to at least 5,500 within the next five years”. Existing casinos are increasingly looking at electronic tables to sidestep a table cap that many believe will only be exceeded to allow new casinos to have more tables. Other destinations in Asia, driven by the four new resorts in the Philippines, will contribute another 1,500 to 2,000 seats making a total, over the continent, of anything between 3,500 and 4,000. In Macau, electronic tables are counted as slots and as there’s no cap on these it’s likely that there’ll be more casinos looking at this as a way to get more tables.
Visitor arrivals in the enclave increased by 2.5 percent in the opening six months of 2012 as 13.6 million made their way to Macau. Much of this was made up of visitors from Mainland China with 8.1 million people making the trip across the divide into China’s gambling industry Mecca. The Tourist Office had originally hinted at 10 percent growth in visitors from the Mainland for the whole of the year and it will have to go a little further if it’s to reach that figure. The month of June saw arrivals down 3.4 percent year-on-year to 2.1 million and is the second month running that such a drop has occurred.
A former Police chief is noticing signs the enclave’s lower end junkets are showing signs of instability. Steve Vickers, CEO of Steve Vickers & Associates, a corporate intelligence and security consultancy, told Reuters: “There seems to be a disturbance … amongst the lower end of the junket community,” before adding, “Macau is going through a period of instability”. It follows reports of three murders having taken place in the last couple of weeks in the city.