Macau’s turnaround starts in Cotai
After a 26-month recession Macau’s casino industry is back in the game with revenues growing up to double digits. Casinos were working hard to attract mainstream gamblers with tourist-friendly features. But so-called high rollers, put off by China’s anti-corruption campaign in 2014, are also visiting the new luxury resorts in the Cotai area.
Good news for Macau: According to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau rose by 16.3 percent year-on-year in April to 20.16 billion Macau patacas (MOP; US$ 2.52 billion). April was the third straight month in a row with growth rates outperforming the concensus estimates. After a long recession, triggered mainly by the anti-corruption campaign in Mainland China and limited junkets’ liquidity, the leading center of Asia’s gaming industry is back on track.
The revenue rebound started in October 2016 and was driven by the debut of new resorts such as Sands China’s Parisian Macau, Wynn Palace and MGM, seated in the Cotai area near Macau International Airport. “The Cotai area is the focus in Macau now. Between 2015 and 2017, we have had several new casino projects with an estimated investment of US$ 9 billion”, says Mila Leung, Sales Manager at G+D Currency Technology in Hong Kong. Unlike the boom decade (2004-2014) when VIP gaming was boosting Macau’s economy, revenue is now split 50/50 between mainstream gamblers such as normal tourists, business travelers and families, and the VIP market.
Major players come from Mainland China to Macau. Casinos focus on table games rather than slot machines, which is very common in Asia. Table games run the gamut from baccarat to mahjong to black jack, as well as poker and its many variations.
Macau is the leading center of the gaming industry in Asia.
High volume cash handling
Although monthly revenues are highly volatile, e.g. MOP 38 billion in Febrauy 2014 vs. MOP 20.16 in April 2017, casinos are handling high volumes of cash. Revenues from tables, slot machines, kiosks and non-gaming are counted and verified on a daily basis. The count rooms require speed, precision and reliability. In cashier cages, however, other factors are important. For payout, the banknotes are counted and verified by desktop counters. Due to space restrictions, the machines need a small footprint. They must also be easy to operate and should have a low reject and jam rate.
Resorts such as Galaxy Macau, Wynn Palace and MGM Cotai are conducting their cash counting with high-performance banknote processing systems and a compact solution from G+D. “Casinos selected our total banknote processing solutions because they get everything they need from one source. Our products range from count room to cage solution equipment, as well as casino-dedicated software such as BPS® Connect Casino”, says Mila Leung from G+D Currency Technology.
End-to-end solutions for count rooms
Comprehensive solutions for count rooms include header card prepping, process, reporting and capabilities for connectivity to the casino management system. This differentiates G+D from other competitors in the market. “We also cooperate with customers to design count room layout and flow to make sure the processes run smoothly”, adds Mila Leung. Solutions such as NotaTracc® and Notapack bring automation to another level – from autoloading of banknotes to processing and packing. The seamless process reduces manpower and enhances efficiency and security.
Casinos selected our total banknote processing solutions because they get everything they need from one source.Mila Leung, G+D Currency Technology Hongkong
With opening expected in 2018, the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is likely to become an important factor for Macao’s tourism and gaming industry. Shortening travel time from Hong Kong International Airport to Macau to 30 minutes, prospective visitation numbers will rise, thus driving large-scale gaming revenues and non-gaming spend. This will further bring Macau’s gaming business back on track.