Macau Casinos To Benefit From Gambling Crackdown In Philippines & Cambodia
China has been on a stringent crackdown spree against remote gambling. Both Cambodia and the Philippines have felt the impact of sting and operators are scrambling to protect themselves.
There is no indication as to how long the sting will continue but two things are certain. For one it will significantly hurt gambling operations in both Cambodia and the Philippines. Two Macau – the biggest gambling hub in the world will benefit from this crackdown.
Macau which is home to some of the most luxurious land based casinos in the world has recently faced shrinking revenues as many bettors have decided that the convenience of online gambling beats going to an actual casino.
The Chinese crackdown initially started out in Macau back in June when one of China’s state-owned newspapers accused the Suncity Group, one of Macao’s biggest junket operators of causing social harm by facilitating online gambling services for Chinese VIPs. A few days after the accusation, Chinese Public Security Minister Zhao Kezhi announced that Beijing would start a crackdown on cross-border gambling.
The stance taken by Beijing hurt Macau’s gambling revenues as VIP betting volume dropped by 30 percent in August compared to the previous year. Another effect of the crackdown was that that high rollers decided to cut back on trips to Macau to avoid unnecessary attention. While Macau has suffered due to this for the last couple of months, gambling analysts expect Macau’s casinos to benefit long term because of the crackdown imposed on neighbouring countries.
Not a Permanent Solution
While Macau will benefit from this crackdown, gambling experts say that this is not a long term solution to boost gross gaming revenues. This is because Chinese gamblers are now comfortable traveling to other Southeast Asian countries as they provide better financial incentives for gamblers and gambling operators. This is mainly because of the lower gaming taxes in the region.
South East Asian casinos have attracted more than $1.4 billion in gross VIP winnings from Macau in 2018 and will continue to do so going forward, unless Macau finds a better way to compete with casinos in the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Cambodia has already shut down its online gambling industry while the Philippines has revoked the license of one of its biggest online gambling operators. The crackdown in these two countries will push back bettors back to Macau but analysts will have to wait to determine how much of an impact it has on Macau’s gross gaming revenues.