The Director of Macau’s Gaming and Inspection Coordination Bureau (DICJ), Paulo Martins Chan, says it was the persistence of the government in collaboration with Macau’s concessionaires that laid the platform for the city’s recent resurgence.
Delivering the keynote address on Day 2 of G2E Asia 2017 on Wednesday, Mr Chan noted how far Macau – which had reached 23 consecutive months of falling revenues this time last year – has come over the past 12 months.
“When I was here in May last year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of G2E Asia, the Macau gaming sector was experiencing turbulence,” he said. “Gaming revenue had been declining for the first time in many years. Not only that, Macau was facing competition from many gaming jurisdictions across the globe. Even with so many challenges, Macau had an opportunity for change and transformation.
“Thereafter Macau focused on optimizing diversification by actively encouraging gaming operators to develop more non-gaming elements while promoting integrity and quality in the gaming industry. This would be the core quality that would distinguish the gaming sector in the marketplace and allow us to weather any storm that came along.
“A year has now passed with joint collaboration from the Macau government and gaming operators, I can say that our persistence in promoting economic diversification is keeping Macau on the right track. After 26 months of economic adjustment, Macau’s gross gaming revenue rebounded in August 2016 and since then has posted nine consecutive months of growth.”
Mr Chan pointed to the city’s solid start to 2017, which has seen gross gaming revenue grow by 13.8% over the first four months and visitor arrivals up 5.6% over the first quarter.
He also promised to continue the government’s non-gaming push.
“Looking ahead, as emphasised in the five-year plan, the Macau SAR Government will continue enhancing Macau’s non-gaming elements and encourage operators to actively develop non-gaming facilities while cooperating with SMEs, local restaurants and local cultural and creative enterprises,” he said.