China VIPs going further afield, Vegas

    Mainland China’s big spenders are shunning Macau and Hong Kong in favor of more distant destinations amidst the countrywide anti-corruption and frugality drive, analysts told the AFP.

    Fearful of attracting unwanted scrutiny in Macau, too close to Beijing eyes, China’s VIPs are travelling further afield, with Las Vegas as a top alternative destination.  

    “The corruption crackdown shows no signs of slowing down. It has created a lot of concern within the country and as far as I can see a lot of high profile individuals are much more cautious about their overt spending,” Steve Vickers, a risk consultant and former head of the Royal Hong Kong Police’s Criminal Intelligence Bureau, told AFP.

    While gaming revenues dropped in Macau for the second consecutive month, Las Vegas picked up. “We believe we are starting to see people relocate their gaming dollars” from Macau to Las Vegas, Telsey Advisory Group analyst Chris Jones told US media. “That’s largely been brought on by the government crackdown,” he added. Jones sees Macau’s growth rate cooling permanently because “it’s getting to be a more challenging comparison. Macau mass market revenue can’t grow at a 35% rate (as in recent years) in perpetuity.”