Date
22 September 2017
Macau is expecting Beijing to announce measures to support its tourism industry, Lawrence Ho says. Photo: Bloomberg
Macau is expecting Beijing to announce measures to support its tourism industry, Lawrence Ho says. Photo: Bloomberg

Macau expecting Xi to visit, bearing gifts

Macau, hit by a slump in gaming revenues, hopes President Xi Jinping will bring help next month.

The city is expecting Beijing to announce supportive measures during a visit by Xi, said Lawrence Ho Yau-lung, co-chairman and chief executive of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (06883.HK). 

Xi may visit Macau next month to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Portugal’s handover of the gambling hub to China, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday.

Beijing may help support Macau’s tourism industry by allowing 24-hour operations at the Zhuhai-Macau port control, Ho said, citing market sources.

Based on previous experience, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if Macau’s gaming sector remains quiet before Xi’s visit.

Ho expects sluggish performance from the industry in the fourth quarter but remains upbeat over the long term.

Gross revenue at Macau’s casinos in October plunged 23.2 percent from a year earlier to 28.02 billion patacas (US$3.51 billion), the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said Monday. It was the fifth consecutive month of decline.

Melco Crown was no exception to the trend. At its two flagship casinos, the rolling chip volume and rolling chip win rate, gauges of gaming profit, fell in the third quarter.

City of Dreams posted net revenue of US$911.6 million, compared with US$958.3 million in the same period last year. Rolling chip volume was US$17.3 billion, and the rolling chip win rate was 2.7 percent, compared with US$22.8 billion and 3 percent a year earlier.

Altira Macau’s rolling chip volume was US$7.2 billion, and its rolling chip win rate was also 2.7 percent. The figures fell from US$10.8 billion and 2.9 percent in last year’s third quarter.

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VW/JP/FL

Freelance journalist

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