2023: Asian client profile reboot?

2023: Asian client profile reboot?

Home » 2023: Asian client profile reboot?
2023: Asian client profile reboot?

Several industry insiders claim China’s “reopening” of overseas travel for its nationals after three years of rigorous COVID-19 control would benefit the Asia-Pacific casino industry.

After many quarters of low or negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), some worry what it means for Macau and the area, where many casino owners expected excellent business from wealthy Chinese players until 2019.

Japan and Thailand are 2023 targets. Some criticize Japan’s casino legalization and growth as lethargic and bureaucratic. Japan’s supporters claim it’s meticulous and demanding of potential business partners on matters like honesty and responsible gaming.

Thailand was touted.

Spectrum Gaming Group LLC executive director Fredric Gushin told GGRAsia, “Given the economic slump and the Chinese government’s crackdown on foreign gambling and limits on money leaving the country.”

Several commentators believe that Chinese consumers will continue to spend less and Asian Pacific nations would remain wary following the outbreak.

Michael Zhu, senior vice president for international operations planning and analysis at industry consulting firm The Innovation Group, told GGRAsia that the pandemic and, more importantly, its control measures may have had deep effects on China’s economy, which may change how its people live, especially in terms of how often, how much, and how much they spend on gaming.

“This applies to Macau and other Asian and Pacific casino jurisdictions,” he stated.

Border control

“There will be changes not only to travel and consumer behavior, but also to how politicians in the area work together,” professor Glenn McCartney told GGRAsia after the virus reached China and the Asia-Pacific.

Vietnam and China began protecting people in November. This included stopping “cross-border” gaming.

China has started shutting down offshore online gambling sites that target Chinese individuals and warning Chinese people not to visit foreign casinos.

Cambodia and China agreed to fight internet gambling and telecom fraud in November. Thailand and China pledged to combat online gambling in November.

Spectrum Gaming’s Mr. Gushin expects “online gaming will attract greater attention, and different authorities will fight back against what the industry calls “grey” area gaming” in Asian Pacific in 2023. Skill-based or token-based social games and real-money gambling games can blur. The second type generally includes casino games.

Joji Kokuyro, general director of Japan’s Bay City Ventures Ltd., told GGRAsia that mainland Chinese players’ return is the key to the Asian Pacific gaming industry’s future.

Mr. Kokuryo stated that restrictions and monitoring will transform a recovering market.

“Big changes in how business is done in places like Macau and Australia, as well as stricter rules from the Chinese government, will make it much harder to succeed than it was before Covid,” he said.

“How open and ready each gaming market and operator is to welcome back these clients will shape the APEC gaming sector for years to come,” he said, referring to the 21 Asian Pacific economies.

Asian Mass change

In the current situation, Mr. McCartney told operators and investors to “monitor” for “shifts in travel and leisure spending,” even though most people thought that mainland Chinese consumers had “pent-up” desire to travel abroad.

Mr. Gushin from Spectrum Gaming thinks that this could lead to a wider range of customers.

“Decisions made in the recent granting of new concessions mean that the Macau gaming market will never be the same again. VIP and junket play by Chinese customers will be strictly regulated and will never again make up 66 percent of the Macau gaming market,” he said.

Mr. McCartney, an associate professor in integrated resort and tourism management at the University of Macau and managing partner at the consulting firm Insights Unlimited, said that the mass market in Macau and the surrounding area may cause operators to focus more on player analysis and maximizing value.

During the epidemic, “data analytics could get more attention,” he said.

Mr. Gushin said that the Japan Casino Regulatory Commission would “launch probity and appropriateness studies for the integrated resorts in Osaka and Nagasaki” in 2023.

Spectrum Gaming’s CEO also said, “Thailand will definitely legalize casino gambling after parliamentary elections sometime in the spring, but their efforts to properly regulate gaming will be an open topic.”

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