There has been much concern about how the U.S.-China trade war will affect the Asian region, and with good reason. The United States is the world’s largest economy, and certainly maintains a certain amount of influence on global trade, and has a lot of leverage in the war. Tom Farley, a former president of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) believes that the U.S. actually has the upper hand, as he stated recently on CNBC:
Many have wondered how this would affect Macau, considering that its economy is heavily dependent on gambling and tourism. There have been those who believed that Macau’s growth would be abated thanks to the trade war. However, that does not appear to be the case.
In fact, Macau actually finished off 2018 with a double-digit increase, which was the biggest increase in months, in gambling revenue. For those who are unaware, Macau is the gambling capital of the world, surpassing Las Vegas over a decade ago in terms of revenue, and solidifying its global reputation as a gambling hub.
The results come from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. The Portoguese translation for the bureau is actually “DICJ” and the agency concluded that gambling revenue is up 14% for 2018.
Reasons For Growth
It appears that the increased revenue is due to an increase in spending, in addition to an uptick in actual visitors. An analyst at Union Gaming by the name of Grant Govertsen, stated that the overall market was healthy, as well. To summarize the overall growth, he stated that “true visitation to Macau is increasing modestly” and that spending per visitor was “also up nicely.”
There is no evidence that a new bridge connecting Hong Kong to Macau has had any noticeable effect on the numbers, as of yet. Of course, many believe that this will be very helpful to Macau’s economy long-term. The bridge also happens to be the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge, as well.
Neil Mathew has been writing about technology and business for years now, and is interested in how emerging technologies will affect the gambling/casino sector.