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Why Macau’s gambling revenue per visitor increased

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Macau gambling overview

Macau and the Las Vegas Strip are the most popular casino gambling hubs in the world. Macau is the world’s largest gaming hub and is the only place in China where gambling is legal. The casino industry is dominated by major players like Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Wynn Resorts (WYNN), and MGM Resorts (MGM), which operate both in Macau and Las Vegas. Other major Macau-focused casino operators include Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL), Galaxy Entertainment, and SJM Holdings.

A good way to gain access to these companies is to invest in funds like the VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK). The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY) provides a much broader exposure to the leisure space.

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Revenue per visitor

Macau’s revenue per visitor increased to 9,632 Macanese pataca (MOP, or ~$1,205) in January 2015 from 9,167 MOP (~$1,147) in December 2014. This was mainly attributable to the fall in the number of visitor arrivals to Macau in January 2015, which we’ll discuss in the next part. The above chart shows that the revenue per visitor has declined heavily over the last six months, mainly due to reduced VIP gaming activity. 

Macau witnesses a huge number of visitors every month, mainly from China and Hong Kong. Visitors from China comprise ~67% of Macau’s total visitors. On a per capita basis, Chinese gamblers spend much more money in Macau than Las Vegas gamblers spend on the Las Vegas Strip, even though Las Vegas experiences more visitors than Macau. This is because the majority of Macau’s gambling revenues are derived from the VIP gamblers.

Macau’s average gaming revenue per visitor hovers between $1,200–$1800, which is roughly 8–10 times higher than the Las Vegas Strip’s average gaming revenue per visitor.

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