- Macau posts 18% growth for February, the highest in two years
- Figures dispel previous worries over Macau’s growth rate
- Local casinos beginning to diversify entertainment offering
New figures show that February was the sixth consecutive month in which Macau has posted significant year-on-year growth.
Last month, Macau received $2.75 billion (22.9 billion Macau patacas), a figure that represents a growth of 18% compared to February 2016, the highest rate of growth in two years.
While recent months had seen significant growth figures too, many investors had warned that a large proportion of the extra revenue could be attributed to new casino openings, holidays and special events – pointing to a meagre 3% growth rate in January that seemed to signify a truer reflection of the situation.
Government initiatives have an impact
However, it looks as though Macau’s recovery and growth could well be real. Indeed, some of the previously low figures have been speculated as the result of government initiatives – such as limits on the amount of money which could be withdrawn from an ATM in Macau and an effort to fingerprint all foreigners coming into the country.
Macau is expected to enter into fierce competition with the burgeoning Japanese gambling market in the near future, as it competes for dominance over the Asian market. However, with many ventures in Macau beginning to diversify their entertainment into other fields in addition to gambling, the Chinese enclave appears to have a solid plan for the future. The new profits certainly point to that notion having some truth, with the new casinos seeming to be attractive destinations in their own right, even away from the extra revenue generated by openings and special events.
With the picture beginning to emerge more clearly, many investors now eagerly await the March figures for more concrete proof that Macau’s comeback is real.
OUR VERDICT: Will it or won’t it? Growing, or not growing. With varying reports of Macau’s growth, and ultimate potential, being released over the last couple of months it’s hard to say for certain. Earlier this month it was reported that forecasted mass market casino spend was lower than originally thought in the Chinese region. That being said, these latest figures sure look promising. One needs only to take a look at the incredible sight of casinos – and the industry – in Macau to be convinced of the growing desire for casino gaming from local and visiting players. What will be interesting is how growth – or at least, forecasted growth – in Japan impacts Macau. With casino giants eyeing up both countries, casino fans would be wise to watch this space with interest.