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June 24, 2021

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G2E Asia kicks off in Macau

(Macau).- The largest gaming event in Asia, G2E Asia 2013, kicks off this week at CotaiExpo in The Venetian Macao. It has nearly 7,000 sqm of net floor space, 20 % more than in the previous year. The conference part of the event starts today, while the trade show portion open its doors tomorrow. There will be a total of 139 exhibitors this year, including at least 27 showing their products at G2E Asia for the first-time.

T

he organiser, Reed Exhibitions is expecting to welcome around 14 % more visitors – up to 7,000 compared to the 6,161 recorded in 2012.

The gaming sector has boomed in Asia over the past decade, led by the  former Portugese colony of Macau which now generates more than six times the  gambling revenue of Las Vegas thanks mainly to high-rolling Chinese VIPs.  Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam are also staking their claims to  regional market share, with several mega-resorts in the pipeline.   

Despite increasing competition from the region, industry leaders remain  confident in the gaming future of Macau. Its revenues jumped to a record us$ 38 billion in 2012 even as the pace of growth slipped from the previous year amid  a slowdown in China’s economic boom.  

“You’ve got tremendous growth here,” said Frank Fahrenkopf, president of  the American Gaming Association, which organised the event. “As new facilities open, more and more people will want to come to see the  new facilities... it adds to the dynamism and the attractiveness of Macau,” he   said, pointing to a record growth in gaming revenues in March and new casinos  opening in the city.   

“It depends on the ability of different operators to see who can produce  the best product that’s going to appeal to the 60 percent of mainland Chinese  who come here, and innovation will determine who the winners are,” he said.   

The annual event, which began in 2007, features a record 130 exhibitors this  year who are increasingly modifying their products to appeal to an Asian  audience. “This year the machine companies are taking their Asian content to a new  level,” Marcus Prater, executive director of the Association of Gaming  Equipment Manufacturers, told AFP. “Manufacturers have shifted their development to the type of game that  appeals to mainland Chinese players,” he said, adding that it was based on  feedback from gamers.   

Hong Kong-based Richard Huang, a gaming analyst at CLSA brokerage, believes  growth for casinos will be limited in the coming years due to slower gains in  the VIP segment which accounts for two thirds of the total revenue for Macau’s  gaming industry.

“VIP gaming revenue can no longer generate such type of rapid growth,  partly because of all the shutdown on corruption that’s happened in China,”  Huang told AFP.  The recent Chinese leadership change is “one of the key reasons why” VIP  markets are not growing as much as they were 12 to 18 months ago, he added. “We’re not seeing a collapse in terms of VIP gaming revenue growth. (But)  definitely it’s putting a cap on the magnitude of growth in that segment,” said  Huang.  The VIP segment in Macau has grown by more than 10 percent this year so far.   

CLSA brokerage is expecting around us$ 43.3 billion in revenues from Macau  this year. This would represent a growth rate of approximately 14 percent for  2013, the same as last year, which saw a drop from 2011’s growth rate of 42  percent.   

Six firms are licensed to operate casinos in Macau, which has boomed since  the city liberalised its gaming industry in 2002 and allowed casino giants such  as Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM to set up shop in the city.  Macau, which was handed back to Beijing in 1999, enjoys freedoms not  allowed on the mainland.

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