In this interview, Sudhir Kale of Gameplan Consultants tells CalvinAyre.com’s Stephanie Raquel what casino operators should do to grow their mass market segment.
Over a decade ago, Macau was awash with money from high rollers who were herded from mainland China to this tiny former Portuegese enclave. They powered Macau in order for it to rise from the shadows of Las Vegas and be known as Asia’s premier gambling capital.
But Xi Jingping’s crackdown on corruption and the cooling Chinese economy have forced many high profile Chinese gamblers to flee to neighboring gambling hubs, leaving the economy of this island leisure in a really bad shape.
Recently, Macau’s gross gaming revenue fell for the 25th consecutive time in June with MOP15.88 billion (US$1.99 billion). Credit rating agency Moody’s Investor Service has painted a bleak picture over Macau’s faltering economy horizon as it downgraded the city state’s sovereign debt status amid slumping gaming revenue.
Amid the absence of high rollers, a group of players has suddenly emerged from obscurity to bring life to Macau’s gambling industry. They are known to many as the mass market players.
Sudhir Kale of Gameplan Consultants touts the mass market as Macau’s future, especially since they are now providing more than 70 percent of most casino profits as compared to the 30 percent revenue it generates during the heyday of the VIPs.
“I’m afraid to say that the VIP market is not going to recover for awhile. This is temporary because of the crackdown of corruption. This is temporary because they create squeeze, and because property had been declining. But the future is in the mass market,” Kale told CalvinAyre.com. “The mass market is extremely profitable compared to the VIP. Compared to the VIP, the expectations are quite minimal.”
Kale, however, pointed out that Macau mass-market remains to be undervalued and receives treatment that is lesser than the high rollers. He said most casinos “fail to provide the experience” that the mass market wanted.
According to Kale, younger operators tend to keep a good relationship with VIP customers more than the mass customers.
“We have no segmentation that I am aware off that any property does, whereby you designate your customers in terms of their needs and desires from their expectations and then to provide the experience for individual segments based on what the customers want,” he said. “I think that would be a start, because if you look at some of the other industries they are providing the experience on an individual basis, and not on segment basis. So we are way behind the curve on that.”
In order for casino operators to tap the potential of the mass market and survive the present day Macau environment, Kale advise casino operators to provide mass markets with engaging gaming experience.
He said providing a meaningful customer experience to the mass market is the only way for casino operators to succeed.
“Now is an ideal time when everybody else is cutting back to go against the current. Do not worry so much about on what your revenue is going to be next month, but look at it on what your revenue will be next year or for the next five years,” Kale said.