Casino suppliers relocate resources from Macau to other Asian gaming markets – report

Suppliers of casino gaming equipment with operations in Macau are relocating manpower and resources to other gaming jurisdictions in Asia like the Philippines and Singapore, Bloomberg reported today (Tuesday).

The financial news agency quoted Jay Chun, chairman of the Macau Gaming Equipment Manufacturers Association, saying at least four multinational casino suppliers in Macau were doing so.

“Singapore and the Philippines are growing exponentially,” Mr Chun said. “Macau has already lost its shine.”

Data from Bloomberg Intelligence said the gaming revenue of Macau only recovered to about 18 per cent of the 2019 level in the first half of this year over strict COVID-19 travel restrictions and Beijing’s clampdown on cross-border and illicit gambling activities. On the other hand, the Philippines and Singapore recuperated back to 79 per cent and 68 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels respectively in the six months ended June 2022.

Light & Wonder Inc., a US leading provider of gaming equipment, is relocating its expatriate staff from the Macau operation to the Philippines, where it is opening a new office, Bloomberg reported.

Macau’s casinos aren’t buying any new equipment until they get licences, so the Macau operation of Light & Wonder is only getting limited revenue from maintenance and technical support, Ken Jolly, the company’s Asia vice president and managing director, told the financial news agency.

The Macau government is now carrying out a public tender for up to six 10-year gaming concessions that will begin in 2023, as the city’s current six licences will expire by the end of this year.

“The Philippine market has become a dominant market in Asia, and it makes sense for us to put more staff there,” Mr Jolly justified, adding the Southeast Asian nation has become the top Asian market for his firm.

The report also said an unidentified Japanese gaming supplier is moving as many as 30 per cent of its employees and half of its inventory out of Macau due to supply-chain challenges and a 90-per cent plunge in the revenue of its Macau operation amid a prolonged industry slump.

Latest official data said the gross gaming revenue in Macau totalled nearly MOP28.86 billion in the first eight months of 2022, down by 53.4 per cent year-on-year.