World Cup can be blamed for a lower number of high roller players visiting casinos in MacauIn June Gross gambling income was down in Macau’s casinos for the first time in five years. The Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau in Macau revealed that there was a 3.7 per cent decrease in gambling income which was at 3.4 billion dollars last month. This is the first drop in income since a decrease of 17 per cent in June 2009. It had been thought that gambling revenue would drop to about 4 per cent for June given that the World Cup matches were taking place and that this could have an effect on the amount of mainland Chinese gambling in Macau’s casinos.

Two factors behind the decrease

While the World Cup can possibly be blamed for a lower number of high roller players visiting casinos in Macau, the only area in China where gambling is permitted, there is a second possible reason for the falling revenues. Many mainland Chinese high roller players appear to be staying away from Macau at the moment as there are currently major investigations into corruption in China. The Chinese President, Xi Jinping has been carrying out anti-corruption measures for the past two years and this, along with a downturn in the Chinese economy, has had an effect on how much high rollers will spend in Macau’s casinos. The island’s casinos depend on spending by high rollers for about 60 per cent of their income. Analysts had predicted that the World Cup would have the effect of reducing Macau’s casino income by between four to six per cent as many Chinese gamblers would stay away while watching the matches and would also place bets on the matches rather than playing traditional casino games or slot machines.

Return to growth after July

Even though the 3.7 per cent drop in casino gross gambling income can be explained by events in China or the impact of the World Cup, earlier in June some analysts believed that this income would only increase by one to six per cent over the next few months which would only be less than half of earlier predictions. There are expectations that gambling revenue will grow by around two per cent after the World Cup ends in July. In all, even with a decrease of just under 4 per cent, Macau’s casino income still outstrips that of Las Vegas’ casinos by about seven times.