Macau Legend co-chairman questions government diversification plan

Authorities in Macau want to diversify the city's economy.
Authorities in Macau want to diversify the city's economy.

David Chow, Macau Legend’s co-chairman, says the gaming and tourism industries are still Macau’s core business and that the government should focus on supporting them.

Macau.- David Chow, Macau Legend’s co-chairman, has urged authorities to listen to focus on core local industries. He says that is the only way Macau can recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chow attended an event to announce the results of a survey of around 500 local SMEs conducted by the Federation of Macau SMEs. Most respondents said they had a very negative view of the business environment due to high rental costs and a drop in tourist arrivals due to the pandemic.

During the meeting, Chow said: “I don’t know what the government is doing. Do they even know themselves? The gaming industry is very important for Macau, it has continued for 20 years but now they have cut a lot of things.”

Chow questioned the government’s diversification strategy and proposed changes to the current regulatory framework for the gaming industry.

He added: “The gaming industry in Macau is important. Don’t worry about going on a new programme, concentrate on the old industries and make them grow. It is the only way to survive in the next five years.”

Macau’s chief executive Ho Iat Seng has previously said Macau needed to promote the development of creative and distinctive non-gaming industries to attract more international and diversified tourists.

However, David Chow said Macau’s core business was still tourism and gaming. He said: “We wanted to show the government how critical the situation is due to casino closures, the gaming law amendment and the pandemic. 

“We hope with the survey results and other proposals authorities can advance policies that can offer a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Macau mass GGR down 8.8% in Q1

The Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) has reported that mass-market games, including slot machines, accounted for nearly 72.8 per cent of all Macau casinos’ gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the first quarter of 2022, at nearly MOP12.94bn (US$1.60bn).

However, mass-market revenue was down 8.8 per cent year-on-year and 10.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter. Mass-market games, including slot machines, accounted for 74.3 per cent of Macau’s GGR in the fourth quarter of 2021, at nearly MOP14.18bn (US$1.77bn).

VIP baccarat, which accounted for nearly half of Macau’s GGR in 2019, accounted for 27.2 per cent in the three months to March 31 – just under MOP4.84bn. Mass-market baccarat revenue accounted for 60.9 per cent of GGR at MOP10.82bn. Slot machines accounted for 6.2 per cent at MOP1.1bn.

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GAMBLING REGULATION Macau casinos Macau legend