Philippines, S. Korea to gain as VIPs look afield from Macau

In a marked trend, regional casinos such as those in the Philippines and South Korea are expected to draw more Chinese gamers as mainland Chinese high rollers look to alternative destinations to Macau in the region.

Analysis by Deutsche Bank AG, noted that it expected a 33 per cent rise year-on-year in Philippine casino gross gaming revenue in 2015, largely due to new venues opening but also buoyed by Chinese gamers.

Analysts say China’s campaign against official corruption has impacted many Chinese high rollers to seek alternative venues instead of Macau.

Deutsche Bank is forecasting a 16 per cent rate of growth year-on-year in gross gaming revenue for South Korean casinos catering for foreigners only as more Chinese tourists are draw to visit the country.

Deutsche Bank analysis also indicated a decline in Chinese VIP demand to Singapore in the first half of 2015. On this basis, growth in Singapore’s GGR would be a modest 2.0 per cent to $6.2 billion in 2015.

CLSA Ltd’s, head of consumer and gaming research, Aaron Fischer, had previously noted that the Asian casino outlook was impacted by growth in the overall numbers of Chinese tourists as well as a move by Macau gamers to other destinations.

Outbound Chinese travel is forecast to reach 200 million by 2030 from just 98 million in 2013 – an annual compound rate of 11 per cent.

CLSA remarked that the destinations offering growth included South Korea, the Philippines, as well as Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Ho Tram in Vietnam, Saipan (CNMI), and Cairns in Australia.

The moves comes as junket operator, Gold Moon, shut one of its VIP rooms at the Sands Cotai it was reported earlier this week. David Group, a major junket operator running VIP rooms for major U.S. casinos also said it was shuffling resources to expand operations in Asia. Others junkets are expected to follow suit.