Gaining critical mass

Asia’s gambling industry is heading into 2018 on a firmer footing than it has for several years, with most major markets having chalked up strong growth in 2017, though China and its policies will continue to be the main driver when it comes to performance. Macau, the region’s gambling capital, saw gross gambling revenue jump 19.1 percent in 2017, rising for the first time in three years. The growth was unexpectedly led by the VIP market, which many analysts had given up for dead following Beijing’s anti-corruption drive. According to figures from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), VIP revenue in the final three months of the year, rose 21.9 percent, moderating from the 35 percent clip 17Q3, but still outstripping the 17.1 percent growth rate recorded by the mass market. Analysts are expecting another year of growth, with Morgan Stanley upping its estimates to 16 percent for overall GGR, while...

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