Casino Suppliers Reportedly Pulling Out of Macau as COVID-19 Restrictions Continue
- Casino suppliers are shifting their focus to other Asian markets that are showing a strong recovery
- Light & Wonder Inc. is pulling out of Macau, alongside an unnamed Japanese firm
- Macau’s casino industry is struggling to recover as China continues to implement its zero-COVID policy
Macau’s gaming industry continues to feel the impact of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions with several casino suppliers now leaving the city to relocate to other Asian markets.
Providers of slot machines, roulette wheels, baccarat tables, and other gambling equipment have seen their revenue slump significantly in recent months due to declining demand in Macau in light of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the city and mainland China.
Casino Suppliers Relocating to Philippines, Singapore
Among casino suppliers pulling out of Macau is Light & Wonder Inc, which has decided to move its expatriate employees to the Philippines. The American company, a leading provider of gambling products and services, is shifting its focus to the Southeast Asian country where it is set to open a new office.
Casinos in Macau will not be purchasing new equipment until their licenses are renewed under the ongoing gaming tender. This has resulted in a massive drop in Light & Wonder’s revenue, prompting the company to quit Macau and put more staff in more “dominant” markets in Asia, such as the Philippines, according to Ken Jolly, Light & Wonder’s vice president and managing director for Asia.
A Japanese casino supplier is also reducing its manpower in Macau, relocating some of its staff to the Philippines and Singapore along with over half of its Macau inventory. The unnamed firm reportedly suffered a revenue decline of around 90% due to the absence of new sales in the region. More suppliers could leave the market after Macau, for the first time, introduced a formal cap on the number of casino tables and gaming machines which will take effect in 2023.
China’s Zero-COVID Policy Hampering Macau’s Recovery
Despite reopening its borders to tourists and international visitors in late August, Macau’s casino industry will still struggle to recover as China continues to implement draconian measures, including targeted lockdowns, as part of its zero-COVID policy. The Chinese government is pushing on with the policy despite concerns it could have a toll on the country’s economy.
For many years, Macau has been widely considered the world’s top gaming destination, but Las Vegas has now successfully regained that title with the state’s casinos well on the road to recovery post-pandemic. That’s in stark contrast to the current status of Macau’s casino sector, with China’s ongoing zero-COVID policy making things even worse.
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