Premium customers want hotel rooms, non-gaming

Quality of hotel rooms and non-gaming offerings are the most important factors for Chinese gamblers when choosing a property to stay in Macau, according to Bernstein’s latest report on Chinese premium consumption.

The brokerage found that the average Chinese gaming consumer is 36 years old, likely to be male, and very likely lives in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 city, earning US$34,000 per year with a gaming budget of around US$3,000.

Looking into future growth, Bernstein says there is still a lot more room for growth, with penetration of China still at low levels relative to income levels.

The brokerage said that the “premiumization” of the mass player will be a driver of growth in this market, with visitors staying longer and spending more.

“We believe that in the future, as the Chinese economy continues to grow, and Chinese consumers enter higher income brackets, more and more Chinese people will be able to visit Macau, enhancing both penetration rates in China and per capita spending on gaming,” said Bernstein.

However, the ease for Chinese gaming customers to get funds into Macau will be a deciding factor.

“Bringing cash and withdrawing money from Chinese bank accounts via ATM’s (using UnionPay) are the most two common ways for Chinese customers to fund their gaming budgets in Macau.”

Bernstein says it expects access to offshore bank accounts (non-Chinese banks) to become more important in the future.