Macau tourism unaffected by ban on free food at casinos, MGTO says

Macau tourism unaffected by ban on free food at casinos, MGTO says

The deputy director of the MGTO says numbers have not been affected.

Macau.- The ban on free food and beverages on gaming floors has not deterred tourist arrivals, according to Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) deputy director Ricky Hoi. He told media on Thursday (July 4) that numbers had not been affected, with over 120,000 tourists arriving on Saturday and more than 110,000 on Sunday. Hoi said more tourists are venturing into neighbourhoods to dine at restaurants.

Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) had instructed the city’s six gaming operators to cease offering free drinks and snacks in their casinos in response to local business associations’ complaints that the practice negatively impacted on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and reduced tourist spending.

Morgan Stanley analysts Praveen K Choudhary and Gareth Leung said they believed the change would have minimal impact on gross gaming revenue (GGR) but could affect overall footfall, as non-gamblers might be deterred.

Last year, Macau received 28.23 million, 71 per cent of the 2019 pre-pandemic levels (39.4 million). Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, the director of the MGTO said she is confident the city will reach the goal of 33 million visitors this year.

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