International edition
June 22, 2021

The reliance on gambling is troubling to some in the Chinese government

New China leadership expected to keep visas open to Macau

(Macau).- China is going through a regime change, and many were concerned that the new leaders would again enforce visa restrictions for mainland China residents. The government, worried that too much money was being drained from the mainland, imposed visa restrictions back in 2009. However, it is not expected that the new government will re-impose the visa restrictions.

M

acau has for years tried to diversify their economy. Casino gambling has become the biggest revenue producer in Macau, and even as the government attempted to expand other industries, the gaming industry has continued to grow.

By the next year, the restrictions were lifted, and Macau casinos started experiencing record growth. In 2011, Macau casinos were seeing revenue increases upwards of 70% from the same months the previous year. In 2012, the revenue continued to grow, but not at the levels that were seen the year before.

The reliance on gambling is troubling to some in the Chinese government. "Beijing has always been concerned about the diversification of Macau's revenue," said Su Guojing, chairman of the Asian Responsible Gaming Alliance. "The impact (of the latest power transition) on Macau is that I am pretty certain that Beijing will be pushing the diversification."

China is dealing with an economic crisis, and that is always a worry to the gaming industry. Macau officials, however, believe that there are plenty of gamblers with big money for Macau casinos to continue to court.

"There are so many people in China that haven't been to Macau yet," said Warwick Bartlett, Chief Executive of Global Betting and Gaming Consultants. "So regardless of the economic circumstances in China the demand to come here is very high. That balances the economic downturn in China."

It is not expected that the new government will re-impose the visa restrictions. Instead, analysts expect the new regime to work with Macau to diversify and grow other industries. The most notable industries that will be targeted for growth will be retail and theatrical entertainment.

Macau remains the number one gaming area in the world, followed by Nevada. Pennsylvania has recently become number three, surpassing New Jersey.

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