Macau’s government hopes to reduce dependence on mainland Chinese customers at casinos in cities and increase overseas players, and sees the electronic game console sector changing and becoming more important in the Macau market, says a senior manager at equipment supplier Aristrobat Technologies Ltd.
The contribution of slot machines, particularly in the Macau industry, has consistently remained in the mid-single-digit to higher percentage range in terms of casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in recent years, government data showed. 온라인경마
“Every other market other than Macau is “larger” in terms of the weighting of the revenue that electronic games provide,” said Lloyd Robson, Asia-Pacific general manager at Aristoc Technologies Macau.
“We know the [Macao] government is trying to incentivize non-mainland [Chinese player] activities by lowering the tax rate,” Mr Robson said, referring to a possible incentive scheme for Macau operators in terms of GGR rates played by overseas customers.
“So for that to happen, we need to look at other markets around the world, including Asia, to supply players to the Macau market,” he added. “It will involve looking at what non-core operators are involved in,” said the Aristrat executive, referring to the game.
Ken Jolie, vice president and managing director of Asia at gaming equipment and content provider Light & Wonder, noted that in order to better understand consumers’ preferences playing games on the same panel, vendors and operators are increasingly looking to collect and analyze data generally available through game consoles and game tables.
He said it is increasingly common for manufacturers to “extract data from game products and use them to create “automated systems that can actually help develop business and player bases in each location.”
Mr. Jolly acknowledged that such steps should work with regulators in individual markets to ensure comfort in accommodating technology developments such as the use of ‘big data’.
“With Macau pioneering a new source market for players, we certainly see an opportunity to work with operators to understand what demographics outside the mainland are trying to target from a GGR perspective,” said Robson of Aristrocat.
Executives were speaking at the MGS Summit 2022 panel session, a casino industry online event driven by the Macau Game Equipment Manufacturers Association.
Products for new market participants
The possibility of bringing previously hired slot products and other slot products to the Macau floor to serve Mainland Chinese customers would give equipment suppliers and the Macau industry an opportunity to “try experimenting with several different solutions” in terms of products, Robson said.
Some commentators on the Macau industry noted that in the past, even in the slot sector, disproportionate amounts of play were made by high rollers, not by popular market players.
Changes in the Macau market mean “there is a possibility of lowering VIPs or exceeding the ‘maximum limit’ in the future,” the aristocratic executive said.
“It probably needs to take on more mass market strategies for operators, and most of the world’s mass markets play a bigger role in electronic games,” he said.
Michael Cheers, sales director at regional unit IGT Asia at slot machine maker International Game Technologies, told the panel that he was confident his company would grow more in the mass market in Macau in the future and that such developments would “generally help slot play well.”
Mr Robson of the aristocracy observed that Macau seeks to provide incentives to Macau operators through low taxation on overseas customers’ play, but this could take time to penetrate the market. “There was a little bit of a higher risk until they got those players through,” he added, in terms of market earnings.
Under the new Macau game concession, there will be a minimum annual GGR expected for game machines and operators per table, which could cause some “risk aversion” among operators in terms of deploying new electronic game products rather than new tried and tested, he added.
“There is always a desire for innovation [in the industry], but there are risks to innovation,” Mr Robson told the panel. And sometimes the measurement of risk is at the win-per-unit level per unit.”