“Good” is a matter of perspective, I guess, but if you have an affinity for China’s only legal gaming outlet, or you just like seeing global business ventures do well in the marketplace, then let me assure you that the news from Macau is good. I am on record in this same writing space several months ago as saying that it looked like everything was on the increase in Macau for years to come. Sure enough, when year-to-year profit totals were released for the month of July, the main gaming properties of Macau had realized an overall 50% increase in revenues, from roughly $2 Billion to $3 Billion for the months of July 2010 and July 2011, respectively. It would appear that the gaming market in Macau is not only surviving, but thriving nicely. It comes as little surprise to those who have followed this area for some time.
What DOES come as a surprise, though, is the primary source of the increased revenue. As American readers who compare everything to Las Vegas, I think that many of us were inclined to think that high-stakes poker (think Tom Dwan, Sam Trickett, Brian Rast, etc.) and the wild NLHE swings at the tables of Starworld and other Macau properties were a big piece of added revenue for Macau. But in reality, you know as well as I do that poker never has been and never will be a significant source of revenue for the casino properties themselves, so that can’t be why there’s such a marked increase. According to Macau insiders, the main source of new revenues didn’t come from foreign markets at all – it came directly from Chinese consumers themselves, who wanted to get a piece of the action in China’s only legal gaming outlet.
The same reason why China is such a strongly emerging economic power is what will keep it at the peak of the gaming market for the foreseeable future as well – one billion plus people are available to fuel this particular city’s coffers, and more of them have more disposable income than they’ve ever had before. Revenue numbers like this will likely only encourage more growth in the city. Despite the fact that Macau is already on pace to earn more than five times the Las Vegas strip’s totals for gaming revenue in 2011, that number will likely get higher as the years go on, unless and until there is an additional gaming market available to China and southeast Asia to meet the apparently staggering demand in that part of the world.
Stay tuned to FTR.com as we continue to bring you the latest news from around the world when it comes to poker, gaming in general, and the customers who are served by both. We are curious to see what happens to Las Vegas and Macau as the months and years go by – if no other city is able to rival them, they’ll have quite an exciting rivalry for years to come. Good Luck at the Tables!