Macau Gaming Crackdown Drives Bettors To Las Vegas

vegas – Revenue for Las Vegas Sands and other Macau-centric casinos collectively fell 3.6% in July to $3.5 billion, Macau officials said recently, led by a slide in high-roller VIP segment gaming.

Telsey Advisory Group analyst Chris Jones said Monday that the mass market segment in Macau — tourists and casual middle-class visitors — is also losing steam. And Las Vegas is picking up the slack.

“We believe we are starting to see people relocate their gaming dollars” from Macau to Las Vegas, Jones told IBD. “That’s largely been brought on by the government crackdown.”

MGM Resorts International, Sands, Wynn Resorts and others with casinos in Macau have been impacted by weakness there.

But MGM also has the biggest geographic footprint in Vegas, operating casinos on 742 acres, according to a recent Union Gaming report. So it could be a winner in a Vegas boom. In contrast, Wynn’s resorts cover 240 acres and Sands’ just 82 acres, the report said.

Analysts have been warning for months of a summer slowdown in Macau VIP gaming after officials arrested several local lenders on charges of illegal money laundering.

Gamblers, especially VIPs, often take legal loans to skirt Macau limits on the amount of cash that can be brought to the district.