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.