Macau aims for 40 percent nongaming revenue in future

By Hong Dam-young
  • Published : May 17, 2018 - 14:35
  • Updated : May 17, 2018 - 14:35

MACAU -- With major casino-resorts in Macau having been up to their elbows in developing nongaming sectors such as entertainment and leisure activities, the city’s government said it targets about 40 percent of revenue from the gaming business’ nongaming sectors in the future.

“I wouldn’t be so ambitious as to say 60 percent nongaming and 40 percent gaming. Probably I would be a little bit more conservative, going for a 40-60 split in terms of 40 percent for nongaming and 60 percent gaming in the medium term,” said Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macau Government Tourism Office, during a conference for the annual three-day Global Gaming Expo Asia at the Venetian Macau on Wednesday.
Held under the topic of the transformation of Macau into Asia’s gaming and entertainment hub, the conference also saw Wilfred Wong, president and executive director of Sands China, and Allan Zeman, chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group and nonexecutive chairman of Wynn Macau, as speakers. 

From left: Wilfred Wong, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes and Allan Zeman speak during a conference for Global Gaming Expo Asia at the Venetian Macau on Wednesday. (G2E Asia)

Senna Fernandes’ remarks came after Zeman’s reference to Macau’s main counterpart Las Vegas, which has recently seen nongaming revenues account for about two-thirds of the city’s total revenue, following long-running efforts by the city to boost nongaming entertainment.

China’s autonomous city, home to 37 casinos, has also been setting its eye on nongaming sectors. The casino sector’s nongaming revenue should account, on average, for at least 9 percent of all revenue generated by Macau operators by 2020, according to Macau’s Five-Year Development Plan, a package of policies and initiatives published in 2016. Last year, revenue from nongaming sectors accounted for 12 percent of the total, while industry insiders predicted it would take longer for Macau to draw close to Las Vegas.

"We shouldn’t be shy about our gaming sector. This is our unique advantage. Turning it into a positive angle, we can offer many more services. I’m beginning to see three generations traveling together. This is our future,” Wong said. 

Global Gaming Expo Asia is held at the Venetian Macau (G2E Asia)

The industry leaders at the event saw eye to eye in that Macau was headed in the right direction, stressing “connectivity” and “integration” for the city‘s tourism development.

With the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, a bridge connecting Hong Kong and Macau, which, at  55 kilometers, will be the world‘s longest sea bridge when it opens in the near future, Zeman said Macau should be prepared for a big wave of integration between the two cities.

“That bridge will be a game changer. Hong Kong and Macau will be like brothers and sisters. There will be big integration between the two cities, like conventions moving to Macau from Hong Kong and Hong Kong International Airport being our main airport,” he said. 

Global Gaming Expo Asia is held at the Venetian Macau (G2E Asia)

Senna Fernandes also said that Macau is aiming to integrate culture and tourism. It has also been working with the private sector to develop the coastal areas as the city gained control over its surrounding sea to help boost its economic development in 2015, she added.

In its 12th year, the largest gaming and entertainment event in the global gaming industry kicked off Tuesday, drawing a record 15,000 local and international visitors, ranging from those representing budding brands to industry heavyweights. It also featured more than 220 exhibitors, 35 percent of them first-timers. About eight gaming companies from Korea, including Segasammy, BGNT Co. and Hydako, also participated. 

By Hong Dam-young
Korea Herald correspondent