The end of the World Cup 2014 couldn’t come too soon for land-based casino operators in Macau, who saw their revenue taking a dive in June. July started relatively slow and with two more weeks of football, highrollers and rich players decided to extend their stay in Brazil. It became obvious that the numbers predicted by pundits earlier this year would be contradicted by reality, with the revenue sinking to record lows for 2014.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/muhammadcohen/2014/06/04/macau-may-9-3-casino-revenue-growth-disappoints/ has ample coverage of how the profits shrunk in June and offers a convincing explanation. Immediately after the World Cup ended, the highrollers returned to Macau and the results can be seen with the naked eye. In fact, their contribution to the cause was so significant, that despite the slow start in July, overall the numbers are in line with the most optimistic expectations.
The Q2 results are slightly better than those of 2013, when there was no major sports event to distract players and lure them away. Online operators enjoyed a better streak during the World Cup, especially those who have diversified their activity and offer sports betting in addition to online casino games and poker. These guys usually have unified accounts which makes it possible for players to use the same resources to spin the roulette wheel, play blackjack or wager on football.
As the Macau gambling industry starts posting strong numbers once again, the 5.5% revenue rose compared to 2013 is impressive. These Asian casinos are far more lucrative than their Las Vegas counterparts and for three consecutive years, grew their revenue consistently. In 2014, they had to overcome some obstacles, such as the theft of nearly $1 billion stolen in junknet investor funds.
The Chinese lawmakers didn’t make it any easier for Macau casinos and as a result of excluding UnionPay debit cards as valid payment options, have alienated many of their customers. It is safe to assume that many of them will return sooner rather than later, as there are so many financial alternatives to choose from. VIP gamblers couldn’t care less about these sort of obstacles and as long as they can wager without limits in Macau, they are unlikely to trade these brick-and-mortar casinos for any others.