Casino mogul Lawrence Ho has warned that Macau’s tough operating environment is to persist.

As part of Melco International Development Group’s annual report, Ho said despite the tough conditions in Macau, he remains optimistic about the region’s outlook and that Macau was undergoing a transition towards a more mass market-focused business model.

“Looking ahead, although Macau is encountering a very tough operating environment, with a combination of the slowdown of economic growth in China and government policies that may adversely affect the gaming market, we believe our business approaches are in line with the government’s new direction from a macroeconomic and social perspective,” said Ho.

The report also said that global market volatility, China’s slowdown, crackdown on corruption, union pay restrictions and legislations implementing a full smoking ban were issues that could still play out.

However, Ho declared he also saw positive signs that the market is stabilizing.

Ho also declared: “Most notable here is the better-than-expected gross gaming revenue recorded in the first two months of 2016 and new government policies such as the relaxation of immigration processes for the PRC residents travelling to Macau using transit visas.”

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Source: Asia Gaming Brief

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