Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On sent a clear message to the casino industry in the first policy address of his second term in office this week — the government is no longer just paying lip service to diversifying the economy away from gambling.
The territory, which in just over a decade has grown its industry to be more than seven times the size of Las Vegas, is currently dependent on gambling for about 85 percent of its income. However, after nine straight months of declining revenue that triggered a 17 percent contraction in Q4 gross domestic product, Chui said the industry is going through a phase of “adjustment.”
The government has cut its projected revenue from gambling receipts this year to average 20 billion patacas ($2.5 billion) a month from 27.5 billion patacas, while analysts are forecasting a second year of contraction, possibly by as much as 30 percent,...
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Consolidation of the bases and advancement in adversity was the thrust of Macau Chief Executive’s policy address for 2021, though it gave little away when it came to the current pillar of the economy - the gaming industry.
Gaming suppliers, like all areas of the industry, have felt the pinch from the Covid-19 crisis, though their growing digital businesses have proved a bright spot and helped offset the impact of the crisis.
While nowhere in the world has escaped the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, Macau has been hit harder than most, with forecasts for gross domestic product to shrink more than 50 percent this year.