Macau casinos feel the 'orange' pinch

Business | Bloomberg 11 Dec 2019

Two decades after Macau returned to Chinese rule, a shift that catalyzed its emergence as the world's biggest gambling hub, casinos are facing serious obstacles to their growth.

Macau casinos are poised for the first decline in annual gaming revenue since 2016, and next year may not be much better as China's economy slows and rising Asian hot spots such as Vietnam lure high rollers.

Macau, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of its handover from Portugal this month, is facing its biggest challenges since a Chinese government crackdown on corruption five years ago. Operators such as Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts will find it difficult to return to the double-digit growth pace of the past.

"All of the juice has been squeezed out of the orange," said David Bonnet, a contributing analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. "Macau is starting to resemble more mature competitive markets such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City."

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