Macau is finally seeing some clear silver lining on the prevailing economic gloom.
Latest casino gross gaming revenue data released by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau shows encouraging signs that the Chinese gambling hub is on its track toward recovery – albeit at a slower pace.
In a statement, the Macau Government predicts that the decline in casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) “is likely to persist for some more time” in the second half of 2016.
The basis of its forecast was the recent data released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau on Friday, which showed that Macau posted a MOP15.88 billion (US$1.99 billion) GGR in June – the lowest monthly tally since September 2010, when the aggregate for such revenue was MOP15.30 billion [US$ 1.91 billion].
If there’s any consolation, the Office of the Secretary for Economy and Finance (OSEF) noted that the latest data GGR will provide comfort to investors that the gambling market is recovering since it indicates that the decline continues to slow down.
The OSEF, however, failed to clarify whether the forecast contraction in the rate of casino GGR decline for the second half of 2016 was being adjudged on a sequential basis or on a year-on-year basis. The year-on-year contraction in the second half of 2015 had been -31.1 percent.
“Taking into account the current economic situation, as well as the international and regional fluctuations, the uncertainty over the future economic growth of the gaming industry may continue for some time,” the OSEF said. “There’s a high possibility of negative growth rate in the gross gaming revenue in the second half of this year but the rate of decline is expected to continue to slow.”
Official data showed that the mass-market gaming accounted 53.1 percent of the total casino GGR for the first six months of 2016. It added that the contribution of the mass-market play to total casino GGR increased by 10-percentage point, year-on-year.
The statistics also indicated that VIP GGR declined by 17.3 percent in the first half of 2016 in year-on-year terms, while mass GGR went down by 3.6 percent.
Official figures regarding the market revenue split between VIP and mass-market gambling during the second quarter of 2016 are due to be issued later this month by the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
The government release said that the slower decline rate of mass GGR in the first half of 2016 –compared with that of VIP GGR – was a result of the “works by the Macau government to promote the diversification of the gaming sector.”
“The SAR Government will closely follow the development of the gaming industry and its impact on the Australian economy, employment, and to continue to vigorously promote the joint development of gaming and non-gaming elements element,” OSEF said. “Labour Affairs Bureau also take into account local labor market trends, take the initiative to provide targeted vocational training, job matching, maintaining the Employment Wen set to help local funding longitudinal and lateral flow.”