With Macau Slot Co losing its exclusivity in sports betting, analysts believe casinos could diversify their gaming offerings.
Macau.- Analysts believe casino operators could boost GGR by offering sportsbooks after Macau Slot Co renewed its concession without exclusive rights.
Wang Changbin, director of the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies at Macao Polytechnic Institute, noted that non-exclusive renewal of Macau Slot’s licence could be a “signal that more operators might be allowed into the sports betting market in Macau in the future.”
Gaming consultant David Green said that sportsbooks would have the benefit of encouraging people to stay at casinos for longer since the outcome of events is not determined for at least a couple of hours.
He: “I think it is a good move. The Macau Slot concession only related to football and basketball which, while popular, are not the only sports betting propositions that people are interested in.”
The move would require amendments to Macau gambling law as it currently prohibits pari-mutuel gaming from taking place in casinos.
In 2020, Macau Slot reported GGR down 27 per cent year-on-year to nearly MOP$543m (US$67.8m) due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s the lowest number in at least five years.
In 2019, the instant lottery and sports betting concessionaire reported net profits of MOP154.8m (US$19.3m), a 30 per cent drop.
Macau’s current casino licences are due to expire in June 2022. Experts and legislators have suggested that Macau should add requirements for operators to invest in the diversification of Macau’s economy, which is highly dependent on the tourism sector.
Legislator Ella Lei Cheng I also said that legislators suggested the government conduct an assessment on how Macau’s gaming companies have exercised their contracts.
GGR was also up 492.2 per cent year-on-year and was the highest monthly revenue since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
Aggregate casino GGR for the first five months of the year totals MOP42.49bn, up 29 per cent year-on-year.
For June, Bernstein predicts Macau’s GGR will be down 30 per cent month-on-month as news about a rise in Covid-19 cases in Guangdong could affect the arrival of tourists to the city.
Analysts added that Macau’s GGR is usually weak in June when compared to other months. They expect a further recovery within July and August during the summer holiday period.