Taking China out of the marketing loop

The last five years have seen a tumultuous business environment for casino operators in Australasia. Barely five years ago, CFOs of two of the largest concessionaires in Macau were predicting annual revenues in excess of US$100 billion by 2020. After all, they argued, less than five percent of the adults from China had been to Macau, and hence the “true” long-term potential was almost limitless. Countries such as Singapore, the Philippines, and Australia also made similar bets. Billions of dollars have been spent on the building and upgrading of IR facilities for the well-heeled Chinese high-roller. The prodigal Chinese tourist became a handy carrot for casino companies to dangle in front of federal or state governments in their pursuit of a casino license. For sure, casinos the world over have benefited from the rising economic prowess of China over the last decade. However, the “true” revenue potential of Mainland China may...

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