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The casinos in Macau are suffering from the anti-corruption campaign



The casinos in Macau are suffering from the anti-corruption campaign

On Tuesday March 3 2015, the latest official results of the land-based casinos in Macau were published, and they showed a record decline in revenues reaching 49%. February is therefore the ninth month in succession that shows a decline in revenues. The anti-corruption campaign that was launched by the Chinese government seems to be the main cause of the crisis that the gambling establishments of the former Portuguese colony are currently facing. To fight against these challenges, Beijing encourages the semi-autonomous territory to diversify its economy.

A decline that began in 2014

Since 2002, the casinos in Macau have mostly been surpassing those of Las Vegas in terms of revenue. However, they are currently in a phase of revenue decline which started last year. In fact, in 2014, the region's complexes were down 2.6% for the first time in their history. During the month of February, the total turnover of the casinos in Macau has even decreased by 49%, compared to the same period of the previous year, and revenues only amounted to 2.13 billion euros. Some experts believe that these poor results are expected to continue because no changes in growth is expected. However, revenues are still better than the forecasts anticipated. Consequently, the gambling establishments in the former Portuguese colony may have hit the lowest point, and their turnover could now enter a phase of stabilisation. Despite these poor results, share prices of casino operators who are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange still increased. The shares of Sands China and Wynn Macau increased by 3% and those of SJM Holdings by 1%.

Containing the anger of the people

Macau is currently the only Chinese region where gambling is legal. Because of this millions of tourists from China go to the huge casinos every year. These are operated by six operators who have a license. Nevertheless, the Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who has been in power since March 2013, has decided to moralise the government and to contain the anger of the people against corruption and waste of public money of the party members going to the VIP game rooms. However, this campaign is not the only reason responsible for the current difficulties of the Macau casino industry. The slowdown in the economy should also be noted. The Chinese president now told the former Portuguese colony to diversify its economy more.

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