The year ahead - Michael Zhu

The continuous political climate in China could curb many casino resorts’ marketing efforts and focus on the VIP segment, especially the direct VIP channel. In this context, operators will need to overcome challenges to create some unique and exotic experience to attract a large base of mass guests, engaging the natural assets, cultural elements, and other factors specific to the region they are located in. Of note, many affluent Chinese tourists from the country’s first-tier metropolitans have already visited the “must-see” cities such as New York and Paris, and are now looking for more exotic destinations, such as Iceland and Sweden for example.

ADDITIONALLY, WE THINK THE STRONG TOURISM TREND PRESENTS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR THE NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBAL CASINO RESORTS IN THE US. WITH THE RECORD HIGH TOURIST ARRIVALS, ROAD TRIPS IN THE US, NATIONAL PARKS AND OTHER REMOTE NATURAL ASSETS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY ATTRACTIVE TO ASIAN TOURISTS.

We believe these trends and dynamics also bode well for further expansion of Asian gaming operators and gaming companies with a strong Asian background/footprint into regions far from China, such as Eastern and Northern Europe. The European market, for the most part, has a stable political environment and strong regulatory control, which also enables Asian operators to capture a wider range of guests and corresponding spend as Europe remains on top of the “dream destinations” list for many Chinese/Asian middle class patrons. As a matter of fact, many companies have already taken actions. Melco’s move in Cyprus, Galaxy’s investment in Monaco, to name a few. The similar trend can also be seen in the Pacific islands.

Additionally, we think the strong tourism trend presents a great opportunity for the Native American tribal casino resorts in the US. With the record high tourist arrivals, road trips in the US, national parks and other remote natural assets are becoming increasingly attractive to Asian tourists (especially younger generations such as the Millennials), boding well for more Asian tourists hitting Indian reservations and tribal casino properties if the “right” products and services are made available.

Note from Michael Zhu, vice president, operations, planning, analysis of Innovation Group.

Other notes from: 

Andrew Klebanow, Global Market Advisors

Augustine Vinh, president and CEO of Stellar Management

Ben Lee, managing partner of IGamiX Management & Consulting

David Green, CEO of Newpage Consulting

Ebbe Groes, CEO of EveryMatrix

Harmen Brenninkmeijer, managing partner at Dynamic Partners

Jay Sayta, founder of Glaws.com

Mike Santangelo

Sam Sheng, director of Double Square Consulting

Steve Gallaway, Global Market Advisors

Sudhir Kale, CEO of GamePlan Consulting

Tim Shepherd, co-founder and president of business development at Silver Heritage Group

More news from this jurisdiction

Mainland ChinaSunday, Feb 11, 2018

Mainland Chinese police have busted an illegal casino in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, arresting 104 gamblers, and seizing 535 gambling devices.

Mainland ChinaThursday, Feb 08, 2018

Authorities in China have launched a campaign to crack down on gambling in rural areas ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.

Mainland ChinaMonday, Feb 05, 2018

Lottery service provider AGTech announced on Monday it has won the bid to market and promote instant scratch sports lottery in the country from the PRC National Sports Lottery Centre.

Mainland ChinaWednesday, Jan 17, 2018

China’s welfare lottery sales increased 5.1 percent year-on-year in 2017, reaching RMB 217 billion (US$33 billion).

Mainland ChinaThursday, Jan 11, 2018

The number of trips made abroad by mainland Chinese residents is estimated to be more than 60 million in 2017, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Mainland China, Hong KongTuesday, Dec 05, 2017

Chinese police have arrested 71 suspects involved with cross-border online gambling operations across Guangdong and Hong Kong.

Macau, Mainland ChinaSunday, Nov 26, 2017

Two underground bank operations that were funneling money to Macau from Guangzhou have been busted by Chinese authorities.