Date
23 September 2017
The growth in Macau's arrival numbers is mainly driven by mainland tourists with weaker spending power. Photo: Bloomberg
The growth in Macau's arrival numbers is mainly driven by mainland tourists with weaker spending power. Photo: Bloomberg

Mainland visitors to Macau up but casino revenues down

Mainland tourists poured into Macau in greater numbers during the Lunar New Year holiday, but gambling revenues extended an almost two-year slump as high-rollers stayed at home.

On the other hand, the number of mainland tourist arrivals in Hong Kong continued to fall during the week.

Macau saw 793,598 visitor arrivals from mainland China from Feb. 7 to 13 period, up 4.3 percent over the same holiday period last year, Bloomberg News reported, citing data from the Macau Government Tourist Office.

That should be good news for the former Portugues enclave, but not so much for its casino operators. 

Average daily revenue at tables during the week dropped 20 percent to HK$790 million from the corresponding period last year, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. gaming analyst Richard Huang.

“The growing number of tourists as well as high hotel occupancy rate don’t directly lead to the improvement of gambling revenue, as the visitation growth is mainly driven by tourists with weaker spending power,” Huang said.

Casino revenue in Macau has plunged for 20 straight months amid Beijing’s campaign against corruption and lavish lifestyles as well as the country’s slowing economy.

In Hong Kong, meanwhile, the number of mainland tourists during the week dropped 12 percent from the same vacation period last year, the second straight year of decline for the period.

Mainland visitor arrivals are projected to fall 3.2 percent for the year, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, with average spending dropping 4 percent to HK$6,948.

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CG

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