Casino operators and the Chinese government in Macau are worried. After years of explosive growth and sky-high revenue, gambling in Macau continues to trend down as the market becomes more and more saturated. However, the Chinese government is working on new ways to make it easier for gamers to get to the area quickly, and new revenue may be coming soon for the casinos in the form of day gamers who are looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon before they head home on the train.
There are lots of transportation changes in store for Macau this year. First, a new bridge will be completed by the end of the year to connect Macau with Zhuhai, in Guangdong Province, and Hong Kong. In addition, plans are in the works for a light rail to help with Macau’s traffic issues and a new ferry terminal on Taipa, which would allow gamers to travel back and forth between casinos more quickly. In addition, the Chinese have discussed major improvements to the airport, which would allow high rollers to get to the area more quickly, and be able to fly out when they have finished playing. Macau has had issues with its transportation, especially with the explosive growth of the area in the last two decades. If it is able to develop the light rail and finish the bridge, it would decrease the amount of congestion in the city, and increase the speed of the tourists coming in.
The area is also home to a booming construction industry and there are a ton of new hotels in the construction phase or nearing completion. In addition to the hotels, Macau is working toward making the area more family-friendly, with the development of theme parks and entertainment for children on Hengqin Island, on the mainland side of China near the Cotai Strip. These upcoming developments would allow the region to develop entertainment for families of gamers visiting the area.
Rents are Getting Cheaper
Forecasters are predicting the robust economy will lead to economic growth in the area of 7 percent by the end of 2018. But, they are also saying the demographics are changing. In the past, casinos were getting enormous amounts of revenue from high rollers. High rollers used to account for more than 65 percent of business at some casinos. But, now, the amount of money they bring in is declining. However, the mass market for gamers is growing, which means that more and more people are gambling with less money.
While the high rollers could bring in large amounts of money into the casinos, they usually came and went to Macau without spending a significant amount of time there. However, the mass market gamer wants to stay and play in the area.
Just in time for the changing player demographics are the falling rent prices in the area. When the hotels and casinos were being built, the city saw a record number of engineers, architects, and construction workers from other areas of China and around the world. However, now those people are not needed in massive amounts, which means there are rental vacancies, which has led to falling prices. Small niche businesses are moving into the area of the casinos and hotels, with the idea of attracting gamers into their businesses, and this is contributing to the overall rosy picture for the area. Even if casinos have experienced all the growth they are going to have in this market, the development of better transportation, entertainment, and niche businesses are sure to continue to draw crowds to the area.
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