Macau visitors spending less on gambling

macau-casino-visitor-spendingMore than half of Macau casino gamblers spent less than $125 on their most recent trip to the world’s top gambling hub, according to a new survey.

The IFT Tourism Research Center (TRC) at Macau’s Institute for Tourism Studies recently published its Macao Visitor Profile Survey 4th Quarter Report, which contains the results of field surveys of 1,042 visitors’ identities, spending habits and reasons for traveling.

Slightly over one-quarter (26%) of respondents admitted to gambling during their trip to Macau, while 52% of these gamblers said they’d spent less than MOP 1k ($125) gambling in the casinos. That’s up significantly from the 38% whose gambling spending fell under MOP 1k in a similar TRC survey of Macau visitors in the second quarter of 2015, suggesting it’s not just the high-rollers who’ve been forced to tighten their belts.

Around 16% of gamblers in the Q4 survey admitted spending between MOP 1k-2k, while 12% spent between MOP 2k-5k. Just 20% said they’d spent over MOP 5k on gambling activity, down from 25% in the Q2 report.

Further evidence of China’s weakening economy was on full display in the TRC’s most recent report, as mainland China accounted for 62% of Q4 visitors, down from 68% in Q2, while visitors from Hong Kong rose one point to 18% and Taiwanese visitors improved two points to 10%. Other Asian countries accounted for 9% while western nationals garnered a mere 1%.

Women made up 60% of Q4 visitors, while 72% of all visitors were under 35 years old and 65% held at least a tertiary education level degree. More than half (57%) of Q4 visitors were overnight guests, 81% of which planned to stay in Macau for two to three days. Over three-fifths (61%) of Q4 visitors had been to Macau before, and 59% of these returning guests had made the trek more than three times in the past five years.