High Rollers from China Make a Comeback to Australia, the Philippines, and Macau Casinos
Recent news reports suggest that junket groups will be bringing Chinese high rollers to the casino floors and VIP rooms in Macau, the Philippines, and Australia once again.
It is commonly known that the integrated multibillion-dollar casinos in Macau, the Philippines, and Australia are heavily dependent on rolling actions from the ultra-elite in China. There has been a dramatic decrease in the incoming traffic of VIPs from China in the recent years. This was due to the anti-corruption campaign of President Xi Jinping as it was extended to the junket groups. These groups are responsible for transporting the wealthy clients to various gaming markets.
However, there is some indication that the anti-corruption drive in China is now slowing down. This has led VIP junkets to resume their operations and start getting clients to Southeast Asia once again. According to Morgan Stanley analysts, besides the mellowing down of the anti-corruption campaign, there are a few other factors contributing to the resurgence. These include better cash flows and balance sheets for junket firms, a stronger performing housing market in China, and an increased ability to offer consumer credit.
Morgan Stanley is predicting Macau’s GGR (gross gaming revenue) to reach $53 billion by 2022. This is partly due to the casinos increasingly catering to mass-market customers who avoid wagering too high, and also due to the return of the VIPs. That would amount to an impressive 18% increase on Macau’s 2013 record revenue of $45 billion.
The total gaming win in Macau increased more than 19% through October (as compared to the same period in 2016). However, the casinos in Australia haven’t showcased a similar performance, primarily because of a dramatic reduction in high-roller visitors. There was nearly a 50% decline in the VIP revenues of casinos in Australia in 2017. A large part of the monetary loss was attributed to Crown Resorts, a giant entertainment and gaming group in the country.
Last year, around 18 employees from the Crown were suspended. They were also charged with performing “gambling crimes” in China later. These employees were allegedly selling casino services to the mainland residents. The entire Australian casino corporation was shaken up by these arrests. Jason O’Connor, VIP executive of Crown, was one of the key figures to be charged and arrested. According to Morgan Stanley, the company has hit its rock bottom.