Macau gaming regulators want casinos to focus more attention on slots and less on VIP baccarat.
On Wednesday, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) announced that it had conducted a series of meetings with internationally recognized slot machine certification firms, including Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) Asia and BMM Testlabs.
DICJ director Paulo Martins Chan (pictured) stated that the meetings were intended to bring regulators up to speed on the latest trends in slot machines.
Beijing and Macau have been pushing casino operators to diversify their offering to appeal to a broader swathe of society than the usual real estate magnates and corrupt public officials. The casinos have responded by adding more entertainment, retail and dining options but Chan wants this demographic shift to also occur on the casino floor.
Chan said a greater variety of electronic gaming machines would help casinos convince more mass market gamblers to make the trip to Macau. Not surprisingly, GLI and BMM agreed with Chan that slots could help boost Macau’s mass market appeal.
Chan’s goal is for Macau casinos to narrow the gaming revenue gap between slots and VIP baccarat. In the first quarter of 2016, slots accounted for MOP 2.9b (US $363m) while VIP baccarat brought in more than 10 times that figure. The slots figure was 1.7% smaller than the same period one year earlier while the VIP figure was down 19.3%.
Chan also discussed the need to train local staff in the finer points of testing slots technology. There are seven companies certified to test slot machines in Macau, at least one of which, GLI, has hired an all-local staff. BMM works in conjunction with the Macao Polytechnic Institute, providing training for students and casino employees.