his ensures the company has a monopoly over all sports betting apart from horse racing in the Chinese territory until at least June 5, 2021.
While the monopoly held by SJM Holdings over casino gaming in Macau was dismantled after four decades, the ownership of sports betting activities has remained. Macau Slot takes bets on football and basketball at 10 locations around the territory and five at casinos owned by SJM, as well as phone and online services including two Macau-facing websites.
Sports betting revenue achieved by the company was down 8.6pc to MOP673m (US$83.6m) in 2015, which relates to Macau’s downturn in gaming revenue. This followed an 18.4pc upswing in 2014, which benefited from that year’s FIFA World Cup. But some analysts feel the monopoly is hampering potential money-making opportunities from the activity.
“At a time when there is a concern about the slowing revenue of games of chance, sports betting seems to be the obvious easy way to raise additional revenue,” noted Macau gaming law expert Jorge Godinho. “No tourist will take a taxi or walk miles across a city to place a bet on tonight’s soccer game.”
Although Macau sports lounges in casinos do not exist such as in Las Vegas, this concept would supplement the government’s wish to bring a wider demographic into the resorts and assist operators during this time of weakening revenues. However, for the next five years this change could only be instigated by the SJM affiliate, as it holds the only license.