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    Bursting stock bubble adds no fizz to Macau GGR

    When the mainland Chinese government's anti-graft campaign began to bite into Macau's gaming revenue last year, many analysts suggested the big players had fled to safer ground in the then-booming Chinese stock market.But that bubble has now burst, with the Shanghai Composite Index seeing its worst daily fall in eight years in August, sending shockwaves through global bourses. If that boom is now well and truly over, is there any argument for a corresponding turnaround in Macau?

    Macau changing its game

    Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On sent a clear message to the casino industry in the first policy address of his second term in office this week - the government is no longer just paying lip service to diversifying the economy away from gambling. The territory, which in just over a decade has grown its industry to be more than seven times the size of Las Vegas, is currently dependent on gambling for 85 percent of its income. However, after nine straight months of declining revenue that triggered a 17 percent contraction in Q4 gross domestic product, Chui said the industry is going through a phase of “adjustment.”The territory, which in just over a decade has grown its industry to be more than seven times the size of Las Vegas, is currently dependent on gambling for about 85 percent of its income. However, after nine straight months of declining revenue that triggered a 17 percent contraction in Q4 gross domestic product, Chui said the industry is going through a phase of “adjustment.”The government has cut its projected revenue from gambling receipts this year to average 20 billion patacas ($2.5 billion) a month from 27.5 billion patacas, while analysts are forecasting a second year of contraction, possibly by as much as 30 percent, according to Deutsche Bank.In his address, Chui said the government will strengthen its oversight of the casino industry as licenses come up for renewal and may require the companies to regularly submit their investment and development plans for review, in particular with regard to non-gaming activities. A tourism panel, under Chui’s supervision, will draft a five-year plan for stable casino growth that will make the region less reliant on casino revenue. Macau, Chui said, will become a center of tourism and leisure travel.
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