In this interview, Catherine Lim of Bloomberg Intelligence explains to CalvinAyre.com’s Stephanie Raquel how millennials can help rescue Macau’s struggling gambling market.
In the vast ocean of people, the 400 million-strong Chinese millennials are now exercising their power of choice in the marketplace. These consumer juggernauts dictate the latest trends in entertainment, fashion, music and technology.
Global financial investment firm Goldman Sachs has even touted millennials as “the single most important demographic on the planet today” in recognition of group’s financial clout during a cooling global economy.
Just like the rest of the world, Macau is looking at the millennials to anchor the gambling industry to safety as it traverses through an economic squall. But Catherine Lim of Bloomberg Intelligence believes that luring millennials to their side is easier said than done.
Lim said most Chinese millennials came from affluent background and thus inclined to spend on almost everything – from new tech gadgets to retail apparels. She added that most millennials are becoming more “adventurous” as they look outside of China in search of their next destination.
The problem that most Macau casino operators face in luring the cash-equipped millennials, according to Lim, is that millennials always engage them in a round of guessing games since they tend to quickly change their minds.
“The Chinese millennials in particular, they are willing to spend double that of their Asia-Pacific peers on luxury goods. So it’s a perfect segment to actually tap into if you can get them right and understand them,” Lim told CalvinAyre.com. “I think the pure fact that they are hard to grapple or understand is the key trait of millennials because they are constantly evolving and their habits or behavior if any constantly change, and that’s keeping retailers or any of the business exposed to them really occupied.”
In order for Macau businesses – particularly casino operators – to tap the full potential of Chinese millennials, Lim said that companies should always strive to reinvent itself and its products.
“I think constant change is what the basis of Chinese millennials and their habits itself, and how Macau can actually tap into this behavior is really to consistently come up with new ideas. I think these are the opportunities that the operators can look at,” she pointed out.
But aside from millennials, Lim said that gaming companies in Macau should also look for other venues for revenue growth such as giving priority to non-gaming segments of casinos. She took note tourists had spent more on food and beverage, as well as the entertainment components of Macau casinos.
“I think Chinese visitors that we have seen in Macau they still see gaming as one of the primary activities, but we are seeing their spending on non-gaming activities rising, Lim said. “I think that’s a very interesting phenomena and clearly there are opportunities in these segments for the Macau operators.”