Average Macau player spends US$3,000 per trip, survey reveals

  • Typical Macau gambler is young, male and professional
  • Gambling hub is largest premium gaming market in world

A Wall Street brokerage firm has revealed what it believes to be the average Macau gambler as it seeks to understand the potential of the growing gaming market there, reports GGR Asia.

Macau Casinos
A survey by Sanford Bernstein has revealed Macau’s ‘typical’ gambler

Sanford Bernstein identified the typical Macau player as a 36-year-old man from the Chinese mainland, earning US$2,900 per month and spending around $3,000 per trip, three times a year.

The survey also revealed that these premium market gamblers choose Macau for its ‘functionality’, convenience and high quality, creating opportunities for even more future revenue growth in Macau as the Chinese economy starts to improve.

Survey uncovers gambling market’s key target

While millennials in the US and Europe have generally eschewed casinos in favor of video games and mobile gambling, the typical customer in Macau is just 36 years old.

According to the broker’s survey, 61% of players are male. This average player will earn at least CNY19,000 (US$2,900) per month, and will gamble around one month’s earnings two to three times a year. The usual budget for a Macau visit is around CNY20,000 (just over $3,000) – contributing to an annual gaming market value of US$15 billion.

This player is likely to be a working professional living in an economically advanced city, the analysis reveals, and they fall under the ‘premium’ categorization.

The typical gambler will make high value cash bets, rather than operating credit lines through casino junkets. This might surprise investors eyeing up Macau, where VIP gaming is famously strong.

VIP demand makes up more than half of the gaming sector’s total annual revenues – however, casino operators will need to shift their focus away from elite players in order to keep the average player’s attention.

Quality of venues key to attracting players

The Sanford Bernstein survey also looks at what is bringing players to Macau. It notes that experience and quality are key factors, with players wanting non-gaming elements of their trip to match the gaming aspect. Sands China was highlighted as the most frequented chain, though high rollers tend to prefer Wynn and Melco properties, the study shows.

The key takeaway for operators should be the market potential in Macau, which shows no signs of saturation despite a 14-month profit growth streak.

The brokerage firm predicts that Macau serves just 5% of the addressable market of Chinese mainland customers who meet the income range of the average player. The Wall Street analysts also suggest that premium gaming growth will outstrip VIP increases – presenting opportunities for developers, investors and operators who feel there could be a space in Macau for their brand.

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