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The Wynn Macau in Decline: Is the ‘Macau Boom’ Over?

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To those not abreast of all the facts and figures in the global gambling industry, it would be surprising to find out that Macau is the home of world gambling. Las Vegas has so often been considered the absolute hub of gambling, thanks to its portrayal in the media.

However in the past decade the pendulum has swung, with Macau becoming the new epicentre of world gambling. Last year Las Vegas brought in annual revenues of $6.5 billion, which was dwarfed by the $37.1 billion spent in Macau casinos.

The rise of gaming and spending in the former Portuguese colony has led many of the world’s biggest gambling companies to set up stall in Macau. One of those giants is Wynn Resorts, who opened their five-star casino and hotel on the Chinese peninsula twelve years ago.

What once seemed like sound business for Wynn Resorts is now looking like a costly error, with revenues and profits in steep decline. What exactly is causing the fall in value for Wynn Macau and land-based gaming in general in the Asian city? Read on to find out.

The Global Trend – Online Roars

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Staff members working in land-based casinos and betting shops around the world are constantly saying that the industry is ‘dying’. Bricks and mortar gambling establishments are closing at a startling rate around the world, but rather than signalling the ‘death of an industry’, it is indicative of an industry shift change.

Global gaming yields have never been higher, a trend which is widely similar on a country-by-country basis. What is driving this growth in revenues is remote gaming, which now represents over a third of worldwide gaming income.

Online casinos with no deposit bonuses are drawing more and more customers away from land-based casinos, something which is undoubtedly contributing to Wynn Macau’s economic downturn.

The Local Trend – High Rollers Leave

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Despite being much the same, Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Macau are incredibly different in how they turn a profit. In the United States the vast majority of revenues and profits are achieved over a long period of time.

Hundreds of thousands of customers visit Wynn Las Vegas, with the majority gambling modest amounts. However in Macau, profits are often made up from ‘high rollers’, those that spend 100 times more than the traditional casino customer.

In the past 12 months, Wynn Macau’s shares are down 32%, something that industry experts are attributing to the absence of high-rollers. Macau is located in a strategically important economic area, close to both China and Russia.

In the last decade China has consistently produced the most billionaires worldwide every single year. The glamour, glitz and casinos of Macau have often provided the perfect playground for these nouveau rich individuals.

Chief executives and marketing gurus for Wynn Resorts have suggested that the trend of high-rollers staying away from Macau is nothing more than a temporary blip. Stating that there is no need to panic as these individuals will soon resume spending huge sums in their casino.

Trump’s Trade War

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Donald Trump has ruffled plenty of feathers since becoming President of the United States, and now he is ruffling the feathers of the Chinese government. The US president has introduced a host of protectionist measures on Chinese companies in his well-publicised trade war.

Trump has often been portrayed as some sort of blustering idiot during his presidency, but by implementing this trade war he could well be doing wonders for the future US economy. Unfortunately one of the victims of his trade war will be American casino companies operating in Macau.

The trade war has already had an impact on China’s economic growth, slowing it from 6.4% to 6.2% in the last quarter. Chinese businessmen and companies are feeling the strain of US tariffs and sanctions, something that not only affects Wynn’s high-roller clientele, but its own financial operations.

Summary

  • Falling revenues in Macau casinos raise serious concerns over the future sustainability of a number of companies, including Wynn Resorts.
  • The ‘company line’ suggests that the recent downturn is nothing more than a blip and that business will continue to grow in the future.
  • A myriad of factors have impacted on the profitability of Macanese casinos, but the biggest factor appears to be Donald Trump’s protracted trade war with China.
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