Your Daily Asia Gaming eBrief: China’s clampdown and the future for junkets

Good morning.

China and Macau are gearing up for what looks to be a much-needed resurgence of tourists, with flights and hotel bookings full up across the board. In China, bookings for planes, hotel rooms and car rentals are already surging past levels in 2019. The winners will be Beijing, Shanghai and Hainan. Meanwhile, Macau is expecting daily visitation over the five day holiday to be up 20 percent from 2019. Though whether this translates to gross gaming revenue will be another matter that only time will tell. In Japan, a number of consortiums have been formed to support the education and training of young people who may eventually work at the prospective IR at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park or in related industries such as hotel and MICE. Our Face-to-Face interview today is with risk analyst and consultant Steve Vickers, who weighs in on China’s clampdown on cross border capital flows and what this means for junkets. 

First, the news

What you need to know

Golden Week visitation to rise, but will spending follow?

A leading Macau official is predicting daily visitation over the five-day Golden Week holiday will be 20 percent above the highest rates seen since the beginning of the pandemic. Although the increase in tourists sounds like positive news, analysts will be closely watching to see whether the added traffic will translate into higher gambling spending. So far, gross gambling revenue has been rising at a slower pace than the number of people coming into Macau.

China domestic travel set to break records this long weekend

The upcoming Labor Day holiday could be a record-breaker for Mainland China in terms of domestic travel, with bookings for planes, hotel rooms, and car rentals surging past levels in 2019.  Earlier this week, travel analysts from ForwardKeys said that as of mid-April total flight tickets issued for travel over the peak period (May 1-5) were 5.8 percent ahead of where they were in the prior-year period. Bookings for the extended holiday period (April 28-May 9) were up 9.8 percent.

Hainan beach, China, travel

Nagasaki forms education consortium to support IR development

A consortium of public institutions is being formed in Nagasaki Prefecture to support the education of young people who may eventually work at the prospective IR at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park or in related industries such as hotel and MICE. The official launch of the organization will come only if Nagasaki’s bid to host an IR is accepted by the central government and may be expanded to other institutions in the Kyushu region in the future.



Steve Vickers: China’s clampdown and the impact on junket operators

Steve Vickers, the CEO and founder of political and corporate risk consultancy Steve Vickers & Associates talks to Asia Gaming Brief about the impact of China’s crackdown on cross border capital flows on the junket industry. He says the sector is unlikely to die out altogether and there will inevitably be some links to organized crime.

Steve Vickers & Associates, interview

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Asia Gaming Briefings, april 2021