The Devastation of Macau Casinos

Professor I. Nelson Rose, Gambling and the Legislation

How do you know Macau casinos are in difficulty economically? Properly, if a main news source says there is a “silver lining” in being shut down that may well be an indicator. And that is what the Asia Gaming Brief  did then they revealed an posting titled “Macau On line casino Closures Offer Some Aid from Funds Melt away.”

Now, casinos in Macau have so few gamblers, in point, so minor earnings of any kind, that the government last but not least ordering them wholly closed is a modest blessing.  At least this way, the casinos do not have to keep shelling out salaries to sellers who have no patrons. But, of course, it is not accurately excellent news for casino personnel.

Observe that some Macau casinos are even now having to pay their personnel, even with no earnings coming in.  However, even the most previously financially rewarding casinos are not able to continue to keep this up for way too quite a few months.  At minimum the American-owned casinos can funnel revenue from the U.S. or Singapore for a though, right until their shareholders rebel.

The trouble is Covid, or relatively the Chinese about-response to the disease.  It has now grow to be evident that Covid is a pandemic only for these not vaccinated:  If you get your photographs and boosters, and you aren’t particularly elderly or obese or or else currently at possibility, there is virtually no probability you will end up in a healthcare facility, permit on your own die.

People of Macau are already 90% vaccinated.  But the Unique Administrative Region (“SAR”) has only one healthcare facility for the standard inhabitants.  And China has a frankly absurd zero-tolerance procedure.  Beijing basically desires to eradicate the ailment totally.  An impossible goal, supplied that the virus is continually mutating. What does this signify for the market?  The timing could hardly be even worse.

Macau casinos shut for 15 days when Covid 1st strike in early 2020 and never recovered.  Even soon after the Macau federal government let them reopen, their main supply of clients, the Chinese Mainland, put a single- and two-week obligatory quarantines on any resident who frequented the SAR.

I taught a class in Intercontinental Gaming Legislation at the College of Macau in May perhaps 2020.  Or, must I say, I Zoomed a course.  50 percent of my pupils had been in Macau, but the other half had been on the Mainland mainly because the College was training each and every course remotely.

I requested 1 of my Macau learners to stop by the technically open up casinos for me.  He went to a single of the greater ones in the city.  In which there would earlier have been 1,000 – 3,000 gamblers, he counted 27.  Which is practically 27 patrons actively playing slot equipment and baccarat in Macau casinos. Of system, there could have been a handful of dozen much more in the high-roller suites.

What makes the predicament so significant, is that the bidding approach for the new concessions are not able to genuinely be postponed much lengthier.  And the present casino licensees and the satellite casinos and junket operators who technically fall below these concessions are also functioning out of cash.

I am nonetheless self-confident that the existing six concession and sub-concession holders will all be renewed.  On the other hand, Beijing could use this disaster to make it possible for in a Mainland enterprise with loads of cash – probably a favored protection contractor? – to acquire around just one of the six licenses.

As for the more than 40 satellite casinos, their time is coming to an conclude.  A lot of are presently run by unlicensed third parties, on a revenue-sharing basis.  Even if they are authorized to proceed, there will have to be much more oversight by the actual concession holders, and management service fees fairly than profits sharing.

The junket marketplace has typically by now been demolished.  Junket operators experience not only COVID and scandals, but continuing sturdy opposition from Beijing.  The People’s Republic of China hates the billions of dollars in hard cash that flows out of the Mainland by Macau.  And it has built it apparent that it will use all its energy around Macau and the border to make it prevent.

You can examine a lot more on the lengthy-time period prospective buyers for Macau casinos owned by Western providers in the future web site publication.


This write-up was initially published at Gambling and the Law® and has been re-posted by permission.

© Copyright 2022, all legal rights reserved globally.  Gambling and the Law® is a registered trademark of Professor I. Nelson Rose,


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