Macau’s economy contracted a fifth straight quarter as the world’s largest center of gambling was pummeled by an economic slowdown in China and the government’s attack on corruption which scared off high-rollers.
The region, which relies on gamblers for about two-thirds of economic output, saw GDP tumble 24.2 percent in the three months through September, easing from the 26.4 percent drop in the second quarter, government data released yesterday showed.
Casinos in Macau have tried to reinvent themselves by focusing on tourists rather than hard- core gamblers, even as the chief executive predicted a third year of pull-back in the industry in 2016. Gambling revenue plunged a 17th straight month in October, as increased visits over China’s National Day holiday week failed to boost betting.
“The gambling market will gradually find its way to get used to negative factors such as China’s economic slowdown and anti-corruption campaign,” said Zhonglu Zeng, a professor of gaming studies and research at the Macau Polytechnic Institute. This means Macau’s economy may start improving on a quarter-on- quarter basis going forward, he said in a telephone interview.
The third quarter’s economic contraction was due to the continuous decline in services exports, of which gaming plunged 37.4 percent and other tourism services fell 15.3 percent, Macau’s Statistics and Census Service said in a statement on its website.
The local government is due as early as today to report gross gaming revenue for November, which is seen falling 31.5 percent according to the median estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The measure is down by 35.5 percent in the first 10 months of this year, government data showed. Daniela Wei, Bloomberg
PAULO CHAN TAKES OATH TODAY AS DICJ HEAD
Paulo Chan, former Assistant Public Prosecutor-General, takes Office today as the new director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ). Chan’s appointment comes after the retirement of former director, Manuel Joaquim das Neves. The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong, stated previously that Chan’s appointment was directly related to his experience in the Public Prosecutions Office, his legal knowledge and his multilingual skills. The Secretary also asserted that Mr Chan is capable of strengthening both the bureau’s law enforcement capabilities and its efforts to “optimize” gaming regulation.
Source: Macau Daily Times