An equity research analyst and former board member of a major casino corporation in Macau has today implied that China should legalise online gambling amid the coronavirus crisis, which has rocked the gambling industry in Macau.
The coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has sent China and surrounding regions in to chaos during the Chinese Lunar New Year – typically one of the busiest events on the calendar for casino establishments.
However, due to the restricted measures and fear of contracting the disease, visitors to the Asian gambling capital of Macau are down almost seventy percent compared with the same period last year.
It is reported that, according to recent observations by an equity research analyst; residents in China and Macau are looking elsewhere to play casino games including engaging in illegal online gambling and the Philippines.
In light of the crisis and decline in both casino corporation share prices and visitor numbers, the analyst said:
“Daily online gambling is up 90% over the Lunar New Year holiday compared to last year. That’s an unbelievable number, and it raises the issue of should land-based operators be converging around the world with online operators. That’s really the growing trend.”
Ader continued to expand on his comments:
“The online operators and Philippines licensees are picking up most of these players. I think it’s a wake-up call, not just in Asia but in the U.S.”
Analyst Jason Ader is a former board member of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which operates more than five establishments through its subsidiary ‘Sands China’ in Macau including Sands Cotai Central and The Parisian Macao.
“In Asia all this is lost business and tax revenue. Legalize it, tax it, allow the Macau licensees to participate”.
Reportedly, there has now been a total of seven confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Chinese special administrative region.
With numbers of visitors and casino goers at worrying levels, Jason Ader said:
“We’re right at the precipice of where they wonder if it is worth staying open. But the mentality in the casino industry is 24/7 you stay open, the goal of operators is to stay open.”