Macau – a former Portuguese colony – was one of last year’s fastest growing gambling sectors, however new figures this year seem to indicate that there has been a sudden stunt in the growth this term.
Macau’s gambling take for September 2012 was revealed this week, weighing in at 12.3%. Whilst this might sound rather prosperous in terms of gambling profits, it is not enough for Macau’s analysts, who predicted growth to be around fifteen to seventeen percent.
The new figures released by the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reveal that Macau’s gambling industry took in 23,870,000,000 MOP (Macau Pataca) over this recent period, whilst 21,240,000,000 was accumulated in the period running up to August 2011. Whilst the 12.3% growth rate is way higher for gambling income in Macau, even when compared to the 5.5% growth rate of August 2011, it is still deemed not enough.
Whilst many analysts have come forward to offer their opinions on why the gambling haven simply isn’t raking in as much money as they have estimated, any several viewpoints are genuinely being considered as likely reasons for Macau not meeting its predicted growth rate.
An unsteady politician situation in China may have forced the wealthier high rolling players to abandon pleasure trips to the island near Hong Kong, and an overall weakening and decline of the mighty Chinese economy has been touted as another possible reason.
In China itself, online gambling is strictly forbidden and because of the nature and history of the former island colony, Macau has managed to escape the harsh Chinese gambling laws banning all forms of gambling. So much is this the case that Macau remains the only gambling haven in China, where players are legally entitled to gamble, which in turn has made the island very attractive to gamers and the wealthy.
Although it is only one hour away from Hong Kong via a ferry, it is for the most part the wealthy that travel to Macau. Being able to fly and gamble, relax and gamble some more is very much a rich man’s choice, and it is those same rich men who do so that are expected to generate the income for Macau’s casinos.
Despite their drop in growth, the analysts are optimistic that October is going to be a strong month for gambling in Macau, despite seeing a decline in visitors last month. Shares on Macau’s gambling enterprise fell three to four percent on the Hong Kong stock market last week however, and that has more skeptical analysts concerned that Macau, may have in fact reached the peak of its attractiveness to the rich.