Macau (MNA) – Diversification drive in the the Macau SAR is not significant to its economy but it is certainly happening inside the industry, top gaming research voices said in a debate on Thursday at the MGS Summit 2017.
Among other topics, the panellists discussed the expansion of junket activities in South-East Asia following the launching of the Belt and Road initiative in 2014.
Vitaly Umansky, Analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, said that junkets are in the business to make money and that the chances of expansion, thanks to the Belt and Road initiative, provide them with new ways of diversifying their business. “In the end [its expansion] is about making money,” he observed.
Another panellist, Professor Augustine Vinh, President of Stellar Management Corporation, said that junkets currently operating in Vietnam casinos were leading the way to make business in the developing industry in the country.
Grant Govertsen, Managing Director, Head of Asia Equity Research at Union Gaming, pointed out that shifting away from the gaming industry was “extremely hard,” not just for Macau, but for any location depending on it as a main source of income.
However, Mr. Govertsen suggested that the local interest on eSports could be a way to diversify the scope of local gaming activities, but not the general structure of Macau’s economy.
Mr. Umansky also ruled out the idea that betting or electronic gaming could gain popularity in the city, claiming that the very characteristics of such activities are far away from the type of gaming-attracted visitors to Macau.
[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]