Macau Gaming Revenue Growth Continues Despite Typhoon Hato

macau hatoTyphoon Hato hit China’s biggest gaming hub on Wednesday 23 August, giving way to extreme floods which killed ten people and left hundreds severely injured. However, despite the category 10 storm’s best efforts, Macau has continued to enjoy steady gaming revenue, measuring 20.4% from last August.

The district undoubtedly suffered major disruption in the form of power outages and travelling restrictions but quite surprisingly, this was not enough to deter the growth sparked right after the economic crisis it underwent from 2014 to 2016.

According to recent data published by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), total revenue for August amounted to some 22.7 billion patacas, the equivalent of a whopping $2.8 billion, representing the fourth straight month of 20 percent-plus-growth.

A Strong VIP Comeback

The so-called ‘Vegas of China’ has been experiencing 13 straight months of steady growth, following the two-year crisis caused by an anti-corruption initiative that started in Beijing. Back in 2014, President Xi Jinping implemented a system that limited the amount of cash flow going into Macau that ultimately resulted in scaring off the majority of big shot gamblers that poured millions of bucks into the casino industry.

To pull themselves out of the crash, most gaming operators turned their efforts towards the masses which has largely helped to reclaim revenue. According to Union Gaming Macau, however, during the second quarter of the year, the revenue garnered from VIPs succeeded those of the mass markets, indicating that the VIPs are also returning to the fold,

DICJ Calls for Greater Staff Protection

Even though the casino industry has shown surprising strength in the face of such large-scale natural disaster, the regulator has nevertheless cracked down on operators to implement better preventive measures to ensure the safety of their employees during such excessive conditions.

In an official statement last Friday, the DICJ stated that it has instructed casinos to handle cases involving late or absent employees “in a humane way” in the event of freak weather occurrences such as the recent typhoon. The operators have promised to improve their communication practices and arrangements during these difficult times.

The enclave’s casino operators jointly donated a total sum of $26.7 million to the relief effort and are encouraging their staff to participate in the clean-up efforts, although some employees expressed annoyance at being forced to join in.

To make matters worse for Macau, a second storm named “Pakhar” struck the area the Sunday after, adding to the chaos and disrupting the clean-up efforts.

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