Macau Visitor Arrivals Up Nine Percent in 2018 First Quarter

Macau visitor arrivals totaled significantly more than 8.5 million in the first quarter of 2018, an 8.6 percent increase regarding the same three-month period in 2017.

Mainland Chinese residents are flocking to Macau.

March was an exceptionally strong period, as tourism traffic jumped more than nine per cent due to your thirty days having an extra Saturday in 2018 set alongside the past year. Visitor arrivals totaled 2.7 million, which is in fact an 11 % drop from February due to that month hosting the all-important Golden Week holiday.

Visitation from Mainland China was up almost ten percent last month, and 13.4 % into the first quarter.

The Macau Statistics and Census Service report is welcomed news to casino operators that continue to look to increase mass market visitation to the gaming enclave.

Gross video gaming income (GGR) has followed the visitation trend. Income from games of fortune are up 20.5 percent through March. China’s gaming enclave has now posted 21 consecutive months of good gains.

Mass Appeal

After three years of annual GGR declines between 2014 and 2016 due to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign being extended to VIP junkets, casino operators began rethinking their focus to more of the population that is general.

While the VIP has reigned supreme for years and it is accountable for transforming Macau from a sleepy hallow into the entire world’s richest gaming hub, gambling enterprises no longer wish to solely rely on the high roller to help keep revenues robust.

Mainland Asia and Hong Kong accounts for significantly more than 85 percent of the traffic to Macau. Showing a rise in visitation from the mainland through the first three months of 2018, lacking any apparent rise in junket activity, means resorts are successfully enticing more of this mass market.

‘Mass demand is growing to record highs,’ analysts at JP Morgan said week that is last. ‘The pace that this data recovery is happening without any rise that is discernible advertising recommends it’s a genuine demand recovery, maybe not artificially pulled forward.’

Macau officials are hoping infrastructure improvements assists in future growth. The 2018 summer opening of the multibillion-dollar mega bridge that will reduce auto travel time from Hong Kong to Macau from four hours to just 45 minutes should bring new visitors to the enclave along with a new ferry terminal near the Cotai Strip.

Entry Concerns

Gross gaming revenue and Macau visitor arrivals are both up in 2018 with one quarter of the 12 months into the books.

Macau Travel business Council President Andy Wu Keng Kuong told local news agencies this week that the Special Administrative Region (SAR) federal government requires to be ready to manage large quantities of visitors 356 days a year, as compared to only at peak times like Golden Week.

‘We didn’t foresee there would be a jump into the quantity of tourists coming final week-end’ Wu told the Macau News Agency. ‘Related government departments should study more data in order to better organize and get ready for the growth of tourists.’

Wu believes room rates during major holiday breaks, which are of course at premium levels, has some mainlanders postponing their trips to times that are off-peak as mid-April.

The travel industry president is urging the federal government to enhance border crossing procedures, and look to buy new transportation that is public.

UFC Fight Night Delivers Knockout Win for Atlantic City

Saturday’s UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) Fight Night event at Boardwalk Hall delivered a strong showing for the Atlantic City economy, as 9,541 fans stuffed into the arena generating a gate of $923,720.

Kevin Lee (left) defeated Edson Barboza into the headlining fight at UFC Fight 128 in Atlantic City night. (Image: Noah Murray/USA TODAY Recreations)

The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) struck a $4 million handle William Morris Endeavor (WME) in July 2017 to bring events that are large the beachfront town. CRDA officials praised Saturday’s UFC showing.

‘Our partnership with WME is all about bringing offseason destination events to Atlantic City, and the UFC Fight event did not disappoint,’ CRDA Executive Director Christopher Howard declared to the Press of Atlantic City night. ‘These events continues to draw visitors to Atlantic City and display Boardwalk Hall.’

Mayor Frank Gilliam (D) called UFC Fight 128 a ‘great success. night’ City Council President Marty Small said UFC was a win for your community that is economic and believes the 2018 summer time is critical to your future of Atlantic City.

Saturday was the very first UFC fight in Boardwalk Hall since 2005.

Pay to Play

The CRDA’s $4 million payment to WME requires the Beverly Hills skill agency and UFC parent business to bring a few alleged ‘destination events’ to Boardwalk Hall or the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Destination activities are concerts and attractions that bring outside visitors to Atlantic City who are typically required to pay the night at casino resorts.

WME has three future events scheduled for Boardwalk Hall. They are the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Tour Unleash the Beast that operates September 14-16, Bear Grylls Survival Challenge (October 12-14), therefore the Basketball Hall of Fame Quadruple Header on December 15.

The CRDA also has entertainment contracts with Live Nation and Comcast NBC-Universal. Live Nation was responsible for last summer’s beach concert show that brought musicians Pink and Brantley Gilbert to Atlantic City, and a combined 70,000 fans.

Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming Executive Director Rummy Pandit believes it’s really a strategy that’s working.

‘The presence of displaying events like the UFC fight possesses effect that is synergistic your whole city, generating economic activity which impacts many local businesses from meals and beverage to lodging,’ Pandit stated. ‘As New Jersey moves closer to provide legal sports wagering, the synergy between live sporting events and gaming is likely to grow even stronger and have an even greater affect the regional economy.’

2018 Summer Time

Summer doesn’t formally begin until June 21, but things are already heating up in Atlantic City. With at the least two casinos that are new to start within the coming months, there’s much enthusiasm around town.

Hard Rock Atlantic City, the previous Trump Taj Mahal that’s being converted into a rock ‘n’ roll-themed resort at a price of $500 million, is set to June that is open 28. The organization claims it’s focused on entertainment, not gaming, and it has unveiled 60 of its 300 planned concerts in its year that is first of.

Hard Rock headliners include Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Third Eye Blind, Steely Dan, and Kid Rock.

The shuttered Revel is additionally slated to open come july 1st as Ocean Resort Casino. The Showboat, which is a hotel-only property, is mulling reopening its casino floor, too.

Crown Resorts Hit with More Accusations of Slots Tampering

Australia’s Crown Resorts is facing new accusations of slot machine tampering at its flagship Crown Melbourne Casino.

Long-time scourge for the Australian gambling industry Andrew Wilkie believes Crown Resorts’ gaming permit should not be renewed until all slots-tampering allegations are thoroughly investigated. (Image: The Examiner)

Longstanding anti-gambling lawmaker and perennial Crown Resorts adversary Andrew Wilkie announced this week he had been approached by a former VIP customer at the casino who claimed staff had provided her with ‘small plastic picks’ to stick to the gaps between betting buttons on slots. These were used to keep the buttons depressed, enabling automatic and continuous play.

The woman also reported the casino issued her with multiple loyalty cards so she could make loyalty points while playing machines that are multiple once.

Police Informed

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, under Victorian video gaming legislation, slots with non-stop spins are permitted in a few specially designated areas regarding the casino, but tampering with machines that must pass strict regulatory scrutiny could be contrary to the law. For Wilkie, though, there is no doubt.

‘we have raised [the allegations] aided by the VCGLR (Victoria state gaming regulator) personally previous today,’ he told SMH. ‘ And I have also written to the main commissioner of Victoria Police and suggested police additionally need certainly to look at these matters, because if these matters are real, they will be unlawful.’

Previous ‘Button Blocking’ Accusations

In March, the VCGLR announced it would commence disciplinary procedures against Crown after finding proof of ‘button blocking’ at the Crown Casino Melbourne.

The regulator’s investigation was prompted by the allegations of three ‘anonymous whistleblowers’ all employees that are ex-Crown testified to Wilkie that they had been ordered to ‘shave down’ wagering buttons on slots so customers could jam them in and gamble non-stop. The whistleblowers also claimed they were instructed to get rid of, or ‘blank out,’ certain betting that is low on the machines.

Crown countered that between March and April 2017 it had conducted a three-week trial on 17 of the casino’s 2,628 slots. The operator said it did maybe not seek regulatory approval for the trial because it didn’t violate any gambling laws and regulations.

However, these are unwanted allegations for Crown Resorts at a right time when its license is up for review. Wilkie stated he believes there is ‘no method the permit should be renewed until all the allegations have already been fully examined’.

‘If Crown is located to be guilty of any offences in regard to some of the individual allegations, then I think a cloud hangs over the renewal of the permit,’ he included.

Macau Visitor Arrivals Up Nine Percent in 2018 First Quarter