One of Australia’s most famous investors recently decided to invest in a number of Macau casinos. James Packer, an Australian billionaire, believes that the Macau gaming industry can reverse the downward revenue trend posted by many of the island’s casinos during the past few years.
The Australian investor argues that one of the reasons why Macau’s gambling revenue is down is that anti-corruption authorities from China cracked down on many casinos that were operating sports betting rings. In turn, Packer says, this crackdown on gray area betting rings scared away more conventional gamblers who visit Macau on business trips or vacations.
According to James Packer, who is also the chairman of Crown Resorts, Macau is still one of the world’s biggest gambling hubs. Packer’s confidence has attracted the attention of investors at Goldman Sachs. Shareholders who work for Goldman have decided to invest heavily in Crown’s expansion in the Macau casino market.
Other Reasons for Macau’s Sluggish Revenue Streams
Besides China’s anti-corruption campaign in Macau, economists believe that Macau’s casinos have struggled for other reasons. First of all, many of Macau’s most popular gambling complexes implemented a smoking ban. This ban forced cigarette smokers to gamble elsewhere.
Another factor behind Macau’s downturn was that the Chinese economy has slowed down in recent years. Gambling analysts suggest that smaller revenues in Macau can be directly linked to the stagnant growth of China’s economy.
Investors are Optimistic about Macau’s Future
Despite Macau’s recent struggles, James Packer and other Australian investors remain optimistic about Macau’s long-term growth. Dion Hershan, an equities executive at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, believes that the key to unlocking Macau’s true potential is attracting Chinese tourists from the mainland.