Low-Rollers Drive Macau’s Gargantuan Casino Profits

Chinese gambling laws - GamingZion

While high-rollers get all of the attention, mass market gamblers provided most of Macau’s casino profits in 2013.

The Asian casino hub of Macau is associated with glitz, glamour and power, as wealthy businessmen from across Asia and the Pacific pour into the city to throw down outrageous sums of money at baccarat tables and Macau poker rooms. Last year the city pulled in $45.2 billion in total casino revenue, more than Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Singapore and Monte Carlo combined. Much of this cash has come out of the pockets of high-rollers.

A report by the Economist, however, found that a surprising amount of the city’s revenue comes from low-rollers, ordinary gamblers. While mass market gamblers accounted for roughly 30 percent of revenue in 2013, they provided more than half of total casino profit.

High-rollers often cost more than they are worth

Why? The high-rollers coming through the casino doors demand to be wined-and-dined with free hotel rooms, expensive champagne and lavish feasts. By contrast, the average gambler is willing to pay for his own amenities, leaving the casino free to focus on winning his money.

The market for mass market gamblers has major room for growth, as the city lies just a ferry ride from the Chinese mainland. Chinese gambling laws
prohibit casinos everywhere but in the autonomous city, so increasing numbers of people with disposable income are choosing to spend their holidays gambling in Macau.

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