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Most gamblers intend to maintain or increase their Macao spends, survey says

CLSA’s latest survey of mainland Chinese gamblers revealed promising trends for Macao’s casinos
  • Most respondents said they wanted to revisit the SAR within the next 12 months, and also showed a high willingness to spend

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A recent China Reality Research (CRR) survey of mainland Chinese gamblers said 85 percent planned to maintain or increase their Macao gambling budgets, Asia Gaming Brief reports.

The 800-person survey, conducted by Hong Kong investment bank CLSA, targeted punters with gambling experience in Macao. Some 78 percent said they intended to return to the SAR by the first quarter of next year – a four point decline when compared with the 2023 CRR survey.

However, the city can expect more “premium mass participants” to visit during the coming year, according to CLSA. It found that 70 percent of those polled indicated they planned to visit at least twice in the next 12 months, up from 57 percent in the 2023 survey.

[See more: China tells its citizens to refrain from gambling in foreign countries]

The premium mass market refers to high-limit gaming areas catering to non-VIP (non-hosted) players who predominantly bet in cash. Casinos have been transforming former VIP junket rooms into such venues of late, as Macao’s government continues its crack down on junket operators. 

Considerable growth has been observed in the mass market segment’s contributions to gross gaming revenue since the pandemic.

The CRR survey also revealed that almost half of respondents did not intend to gamble anywhere other than Macao. Of those who did, Singapore was the next most popular destination. Earlier this year, China’s government warned its citizens to refrain from gambling overseas, which violates Chinese laws.  

“This high level of interest [in Macao] highlights the city’s attractiveness, with 97 percent of participants feeling safe travelling to Macao and 65 percent perceiving the city as a more attractive shopping destination since Covid,” the survey noted.

[See more: Macao’s gross gaming revenue dipped slightly in April]

Forty percent of CRR respondents said they had gambling budgets of more than 25,000 yuan (US$3,460); 32 percent said they would spend more than 20,000 yuan (US$2,770) on non-gambling activities.

In terms of where they would spend, 56 percent of respondents said they planned to visit at at least two integrated resorts on their next trips to the SAR. Sands emerged as the most popular concessionaire, and the Venetian was Sands’ most popular property.

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