Macau Visitor Arrivals Up Nine Percent in 2018 First Quarter

Macau Visitor Arrivals Up Nine Percent in 2018 First Quarter

Macau visitor arrivals totaled a lot more than 8.5 million into the first quarter of 2018, an 8.6 percent increase on the same period that is three-month 2017.

Mainland Chinese residents are flocking to Macau.

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

Visitation from Mainland China was up almost ten percent final thirty days, and 13.4 per cent within the first quarter.

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

Gross 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 published 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 started rethinking their focus to a lot more of the population that is general.

Although the VIP has reigned supreme for decades and it is in charge of transforming Macau from a sleepy hallow into the world’s richest gaming hub, casinos not wish to entirely depend on the high roller to help keep profits robust.

Mainland China and Hong Kong accounts for a lot more than 85 percent of the traffic to Macau. Showing a growth in visitation from the mainland through initial three months of 2018, without an obvious surge in junket activity, means resorts are effectively enticing more of this mass market.

‘Mass demand is growing to record highs,’ analysts at JP Morgan said a week ago. ‘The pace that this data recovery is occurring without any discernible rise in promotion suggests it’s a genuine demand recovery, perhaps not artificially pulled ahead.’

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

Entry Concerns

Gross gaming revenue and Macau visitor arrivals are both up in 2018 with one quarter of the 12 months within 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 big amounts of site visitors 356 days a year, as compared to only at top times like Golden Week.

‘We didn’t foresee there is a jump into the number of tourists coming last week-end’ Wu told the Macau Information Agency. ‘Related government departments should study more data in order to higher 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 boost border crossing procedures, and look to purchase new public transportation.

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 in to 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 sports today)

The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) struck a $4 million cope with William Morris Endeavor (WME) in July 2017 to bring large occasions to 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 will continue 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 the whole community that is economic and believes the 2018 summer is critical to the future of Atlantic City.

Saturday was the first UFC battle in Boardwalk Hall since 2005.

Pay to Play

The CRDA’s $4 million payment to WME requires the Beverly Hills skill agency and UFC moms and dad company to create several so-called ‘destination events’ to Boardwalk Hall or the Atlantic City Convention Center.

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

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

The CRDA also has entertainment contracts with Live country and Comcast NBC-Universal. Live Nation was responsible for last summer’s beach concert series 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 is a strategy that’s working.

‘The existence of sporting events like the UFC fight features a effect that is synergistic the entire city, generating financial task which impacts many local businesses from food and beverage to lodging,’ Pandit stated. ‘As New Jersey moves closer to offer legal sports wagering, the synergy between live sporting events and video gaming is likely to develop even stronger and have an even greater effect on the regional economy.’

2018 Summer

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

Hard Rock Atlantic City, the former Trump Taj Mahal that’s being converted into a rock ‘n’ roll-themed resort at a price of $500 million, is set to open June 28. The company says it’s focused on entertainment, not gaming, and it has unveiled 60 of its 300 planned concerts in its first 12 months of operation.

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 this summer 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 dealing with brand new accusations of slot machine game tampering at its flagship Crown Melbourne Casino.

Long-time scourge of this Australian gambling industry Andrew Wilkie thinks Crown Resorts’ gaming license shouldn’t be renewed until all slots-tampering allegations have now been 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 in to the gaps between wagering buttons on slot machines. These had been used to help keep the buttons depressed, allowing for automatic and continuous play.

The woman also claimed the casino issued her with multiple loyalty cards so she could make loyalty points playing multiple machines at once.

Police Informed

Based on the Sydney Morning Herald, under Victorian gaming law, slots with non-stop spins are permitted in some specially designated areas associated with casino, but tampering with machines that have to pass strict scrutiny that is regulatory be contrary to the law. For Wilkie, though, there isn’t any doubt.

‘I have actually raised [the allegations] with the VCGLR (Victoria state gaming regulator) personally earlier today,’ he told SMH. ‘ And I also have also written to the principle commissioner of Victoria Police and suggested police also need to look at these matters, because if these matters are true, they would be unlawful.’

Previous ‘Button Blocking’ Accusations

In March, the VCGLR announced it would commence proceedings that are disciplinary Crown after finding evidence of ‘button blocking’ at the Crown Casino Melbourne.

The regulator’s investigation was prompted by the allegations of three ‘anonymous whistleblowers’ all ex-Crown workers who testified to Wilkie they’d been purchased to ‘shave down’ gambling buttons on slots so customers could jam them in and gamble non-stop. The whistleblowers also claimed they were instructed to remove, or ‘blank out,’ specific low betting options 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 slot machines. The operator stated it did maybe not seek regulatory approval for the trial because it didn’t violate any gambling laws and regulations.

Nonetheless, these are unwanted allegations for Crown Resorts at time whenever its permit is up for review. Wilkie said he believes there is ‘no way the license should be renewed until all the allegations have been fully investigated’.

‘then i think a cloud hangs over the renewal of their license,’ he added if Crown is found to be guilty of any offences in regard to any of the individual allegations.

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