Date
24 August 2017
Macau's Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong said Macau wants to become a world tourism and leisure center. Photo: TDM
Macau's Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong said Macau wants to become a world tourism and leisure center. Photo: TDM

Macau gaming sector undergoing consolidation, top official says

Macau’s labor affairs bureau has received requests for assistance from employees of four VIP gaming rooms that have closed or are undergoing business restructuring as the territory continues to feel the impact of declining casino revenues.

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said it is natural for casino operators to restructure their business as the gaming industry has entered a consolidation period, Television of Macau reported.

“What is important is whether this [consolidation] process in the gaming industry is going to help Macau to become a world tourism and leisure center, as well as whether the industry is developing healthily,” Leong was quoted as saying.

He noted that the city’s gaming revenue has declined for eight consecutive months amid tightening liquidity on the mainland and the changing social and economic environment.

The government will take a more cautious view in formulating fiscal policies, considering the challenging situation faced by the industry, Leong added.

Meanwhile, Melco PBL Entertainment (Macau) Ltd. (06883.HK) saw its fourth-quarter net profit plunge 60 percent to US$92.9 million from a year earlier, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

The earnings drop was attributed to a decline in the average bets and revenue from the company’s mass tables and VIP rooms amid a smoking ban.

Melco PBL co-chairman Lawrence Ho said full-year growth in gaming revenue may be slightly negative.

Translation by Vey Wong

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