Macau Visitor Arrivals Up Nine Percent in 2018 First Quarter

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

Mainland residents that are chinese flocking to Macau.

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

Visitation from Mainland China was up almost 10 percent final month, and 13.4 percent into the quarter that is first.

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

Gross gaming revenue (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

Following 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.

As the VIP has reigned supreme for years and is in charge of transforming Macau from the sleepy hallow into the entire world’s gaming hub that is richest, gambling enterprises no longer wish to entirely depend on the high roller to keep profits robust.

Mainland Asia and Hong Kong is in charge of more than 85 percent of the traffic to Macau. Showing a growth in visitation from the mainland through the very first three months of 2018, without an apparent surge in junket activity, means resorts are successfully enticing more associated with mass market.

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

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 year in the books.

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

‘We don’t foresee there is a jump within the number of tourists coming weekend that is last Wu told the Macau Information Agency. ‘Related government departments should study more data in purchase to better organize and prepare for the growth of tourists.’

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

The travel industry president is urging the government to boost edge crossing procedures, and look to buy new general public transportation.

UFC Fight Night Delivers Knockout Profit for Atlantic City

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

Kevin Lee (left) defeated Edson Barboza into the headlining fight at UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City. (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 activities to the beachfront town. CRDA officials praised Saturday’s UFC showing.

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

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

Saturday was the 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 company to bring a few alleged ‘destination events’ to Boardwalk Hall or the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Destination events are concerts and tourist attractions that bring visitors that are outside Atlantic City who are typically required to spend the evening 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 also 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 is a strategy that’s working.

‘The existence of sporting events like the UFC fight features a effect that is synergistic the whole city, generating economic task which impacts many local businesses from food 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 develop even stronger and have an even greater impact on the neighborhood economy.’

2018 Summer

Summer doesn’t formally begin until June 21, but things already are heating up in Atlantic City. With at the very least two new casinos anticipated to open into 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 cost of $500 million, is set to open June 28. The company claims it’s focused on entertainment, not video gaming, and 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 also slated to open come early july as Ocean Resort Casino. The Showboat, which is currently 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 brand new accusations of slot machine tampering at its flagship Crown Melbourne Casino.

Long-time scourge of this gambling that is australian Andrew Wilkie thinks Crown Resorts’ gaming license really should not be renewed until all slots-tampering allegations have now been thoroughly investigated. (Image: The Examiner)

Longstanding lawmaker that is anti-gambling perennial Crown Resorts adversary Andrew Wilkie announced this week he was in fact approached with 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 had been used to keep the buttons depressed, allowing for automatic and continuous play.

The lady additionally advertised the casino issued her with multiple loyalty cards so she could earn loyalty points while playing multiple machines at 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 of the casino, but tampering with devices that must pass strict regulatory scrutiny could be against the law. For Wilkie, though, there is absolutely no doubt.

‘we have actually raised [the allegations] with the VCGLR (Victoria state gaming regulator) personally previous today,’ he told SMH. ‘ And I also have also written to the chief commissioner of Victoria Police and recommended police also need certainly to look at these matters, because if these matters are real, they is unlawful.’

Previous ‘Button Blocking’ Accusations

In March, the VCGLR announced it would commence disciplinary procedures against 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 employees that are ex-Crown testified to Wilkie they’d been purchased 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 eliminate, or ‘blank out,’ specific low betting options on the machines.

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

Nevertheless, these are unwelcome allegations for Crown Resorts at a right time whenever its license is up for review. Wilkie said he believes there is ‘no method the permit should be renewed until all the allegations have been completely examined’.

‘If Crown is located to be guilty of any offences in regards to some of the average person allegations, then I think a cloud hangs over the renewal of their license,’ he added.