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Punters to maintain or increase gambling budgets in Macau: CLSA

A recent China Reality Research (CRR) survey conducted by investment bank CLSA has shown that travelers still exhibit a high willingness to spend in Macau – including on gambling, despite visitation not yet fully normalizing.

Regarding spending on gaming, the survey finds that 85 percent of participants intend to maintain or increase their gaming budgets, particularly in the base mass and premium mass segments.

Forty percent (40%) have a per-person gaming budget of above RMB25,000 ($3,460). For non-gaming activities, 32 percent would spend RMB20,001 ($2,770) or more per person.

Overall, 95 percent of respondents plan to either maintain or increase their spending on their next trip to Macau compared to their previous visits.

CLSA

‘This spending will likely benefit concessionaires, including those in entertainment, food, gaming, and accommodation,’ CLSA indicates.

premium mass, macau

Resilience in the premium segment continues

The survey results also suggest that mainland Chinese tourists continue to view Macau as an attractive travel destination, despite an uncertain outlook for the global economy.

Of the 800 participants surveyed, 78 percent plan to visit the city by 1Q25, a slight decline from 82 percent registered in 2023.

‘This high level of interest highlights the city’s attractiveness, with 97 percent of participants feeling safe traveling to Macau and 65 percent perceiving the city as a more attractive shopping destination since COVID,’ the survey notes.

Analysts Jeffrey Kiang, Lance Noble, and Leo Pan highlight that amid current macroeconomic uncertainty, the strength of premium players is still underpinning the resilience of the city.

‘Premium mass participants expressed their intention to visit Macau more often than they did in 2023. Seventy percent of premium mass participants plan to visit Macau twice or more in the next twelve months, up from 57 percent in 2023. Meanwhile, they continue to plan multiple-night stays during their upcoming trips,’ note the analysts.

Despite the increasing normalization of outbound travel from mainland China to foreign destinations, 48 percent of those surveyed do not intend to gamble anywhere other than Macau, slightly up from 47 percent in 2023.

CLSA notes that the strong preference for Macau is likely due to its proximity to mainland China. Among those considering other destinations, Singapore, the USA, South Korea, and Australia are the most popular, with 20 percent, 12 percent, 11 percent, and 9 percent of the participants, respectively, expressing their intention to visit these countries for gaming.

Punters to maintain or increase gambling budgets in Macau: CLSA

Simpler visa logistics paves the way for mass

The recent Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) expansion and simplified visa application processes are seen as key promoters of Macau’s tourism growth.

Forty-five percent of participants stated they would expedite their Macau trip plans if the logistics of applying for IVS visas were simplified.

‘This is applicable across grind, base, and premium mass segments. Other participants would also consider prioritizing their trips to Macau if there were more price promotions and new property openings, representing 24 percent and 18 percent of participants, respectively’.

Meanwhile, the IVS expansion is believed to ‘accelerate the normalization process of visitations as well as gross gaming revenue,’ note the analysts.

Sands China, The Venetian Macau
The Venetian Macau

Sands still dominates in popularity

Although 56 percent of respondents plan to visit at least two integrated resorts during their upcoming trips to Macau, Sands China remains the most popular, especially The Venetian Macao’s hotel and casino.

Additionally, the popularity of MGM China and Wynn Macau has grown since last year, attracting more visitors to their hotels and casinos.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chanhttps://agbrief.com/
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.

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