UBS Predicts Movement of Mass Gamblers From Mainland China
Macau’s casino industry used to derive more than fifty percent of its gaming revenue from players and its casinos used to work closely with junket operators who were responsible for bringing in these special high-rollers from Mainland China.
The anti-corruption crackdown in Macau which commenced in 2014 has since scared away these VIP gamblers and as a result Macau’s casino industry has experienced seventeen consecutive months of revenue losses and the overall casino industry has lost well over $100 billion.
Macau’s government has asked the casino industry to change up its marketing and promotional strategy from one that targeted VIP gamblers to one that went after mass market gamblers. James Packer’s $4.2 billion Studio City which opened in October 2015 has adopted these suggestions by not making provision for the usual VIP rooms and also downgrading its hotel from a 5 star rating to a 4 star rating in an effort to attract mass gamblers.
The other casinos are slowly beginning to change their strategy as they come to terms with the fact that the VIP market in Macau may never return to the way it was before. UBS Evidence Lab has conducted a survey on mass market gamblers from Mainland China to provide the casino industry with an idea of where these mass market gamblers are looking to visit in 2016. UBS surveyed a total of 510 mass market gamblers whose average spending per trip is around $1875.
Results of the survey were released on the 30th of November and show that the most of these mass market gamblers from Mainland China were not looking to visit Macau but most of them had set the sights on the United States. The UBS survey states that after the United States, these mass market gamblers preferred to go to Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea. None of the 510 gamblers surveyed expressed any interest of traveling to the Philippines or Cambodia to gamble.
The UBS report also went on to say that
We think other Asian casinos will unlikely be able compete with Macau for base mass gamblers until at least 2019, when quality products and critical mass might form in markets such as Korea.” New projects have some positive effect: 56% of our respondents said they are likely to visit casinos more often due to new/upcoming openings. Owned by Melco Crown (MPEL), Studio City is the most favored among recently opened casinos; among upcoming projects, our respondents like The Parisian the most.
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