Report suggests Macau consider online gambling to recover from Covid-19

Macau's economy is heavily dependent on tourism.
Macau's economy is heavily dependent on tourism.

Analysts say the recovery of Macau’s tourism sector may take longer than expected and that the city should consider turning to technology and online gambling to maintain revenue.

Macau.- Although Macau hopes for some improvement in tourism and gaming during the Labour Day holiday, analysts suggest the city should act to lessen its dependence on the tourism sector.

A new report entitled “The economic impact of a global pandemic on the tourism economy: the case of COVID-19 and Macao’s destination- and gambling-dependent economy” suggest that state casino operators should turn to online gambling and technology to recover.

The report by Weng Marc Lim (Swinburne University of Technology, Malaysia) and Wai-Ming To (School of Business, Macao Polytechnic Institute) suggests casino operators should “leverage on the technological advances brought by the Industrial Revolution 4.0, such as virtual reality, to deliver a revamped online gambling experience.”

They state that online gambling combined with virtual reality could be effective to curb gambling addiction and could boost casino operators’ revenue amid uncertainty about possible new Covid-19 waves.

Most of Macau’s annual casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) comes from Hong Kong and mainland Chinese tourists and the Covid-19 pandemic has heavily impacted the industry due to the lack of visitors.

Another recent paper proposed that Macau add requirements to its gaming licences criteria to require operators to help the diversification of Macau’s economy. 

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