DestinationsThe reduction of machines and tables under Macau's new gaming law is prompting suppliers to relocate to Singapore and Philippines.

Macau loses glitz in gaming ritz

The Macau government is imposing a cap of 6,000 gaming tables and 12,000 slot machines across all casinos from 2023.
The Macau government is imposing a cap of 6,000 gaming tables and 12,000 slot machines across all casinos from 2023. Photo Credit: GettyImages/ViewApart

When Macau’s new gaming laws come into effect next year, a drastic cut in gaming machines and tables is sending suppliers packing and moving out of the city in favour of other Asian markets like Singapore and Philippines.

Authorities in Macau made the decision to put a cap on the number of gaming stations from 2023 onward to “control the scale” and foster the “healthy development” of the casino industry and region as a whole.

The total number of table games and slot machines at the end of 2021 across Macau’s six casino giants already came in at 6,198 and 11,758 respectively. With the move to limit tables to 6,000 and slot machines to 12,000, there’s little to zero wiggle room for growth.

The Macau gaming industry is currently experiencing the worst year of the pandemic amid prolonged border lockdown. The gross gaming revenue (GGR) between January and July amounted to US$404,500,000, whereas the first seven months for 2020 and 2021 stood at US$532,700,000 and US$863,200,000 respectively.

Prior to the pandemic, Macau’s gambling market was once six times bigger than Vegas’s, raking in an annual revenue of US$36 billion.

Singapore and and the Philippines, meanwhile, are expected to see a growing gaming industry.

“Macau has already lost its shine,” Jay Chun, chairman of the Macau Gaming Equipment Manufacturers Association, told Bloomberg. “Singapore and the Philippines are growing exponentially.”

According to the report, Ken Jolly, Light & Wonder’s Asia vice president and managing director said the Philippines, which has become the top key market for the company, is now "a dominant market in Asia, and it makes sense for us to put more staff there".

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