IAG September 2015 - page 6

he past year has highlighted several fallacies with
regards theAsiangaming space.
Themain ones are that Macauwill always remain
the No. 1 gaming destination for Chinese, whose
appetite to gamble is insatiable, and that Macau’s
growth will motor on ad infinitum on the back of oodles of still-
untappeddemand frommainlandChina.
There’s a danger Macau is starting to seem passé for many
affluentChinese travelers. Indeed,Macau’sveryrelevance toChina’s
next generation is indoubt. According to a study published in 2013
bymanagement consultancyMcKinsey &Company that’s come to
be considered the definitive overview on the subject, the younger
cohort within China’s middle class, who today are teenagers and
people in their early 20s, were “bornafter themid-1980s and raised
in a period of relative abundance. Their parents, who lived through
years of shortage, focusedprimarily onbuilding economic security.
… But [they] were born after Deng Xiaoping’s visit to the southern
region—the beginning of a new era of economic reform and of
China’s opening up to theworld. They are confident, independent-
minded, and determined to display that independence through
their consumption. Most of them are the only children in their
familiesbecausewhen theywereborn, thegovernmentwasstarting
to enforce its one-childpolicy quite strictly.”
It’s this rising new generation that will drive the coming surge
in Chinese outbound travel—brokerage CLSA predicts outbound
departures fromChinawilldouble to200millionby2020.“Explosive
projected growth in outboundGreater China travel numbers offers
immenseopportunity for countries tobenefit fromChinese tourists’
desire for new experiences—from sightseeing to food, to hotels,
to gaming and shopping. Tourists will become increasingly savvy,
independent and demand high quality experiences and service,”
writesCLSA analyst AaronFischer.
Perhaps in anticipation of the influence of China’s new
consumers, despite the current pervading atmosphere of gloom,
massive new gaming resort capacity continues to be built around
the region. The bulk of development is still centeredonMacau and
the Cotai strip as the city’s operators not only seek to reignite the
market and prevent players frommigrating abroad, but also shift
their focus away from the moribund VIP segment to the higher-
margin mass market by providing more expansive non-gaming
offerings at their upcomingproperties.
Big projects are also afoot in the region’s other gaming
jurisdictions now thatMacau’s appeal to Chinese players no longer
appears unassailable. Competing resorts geared to Chinese players
areopeninguporareon thedrawingboards fromManila toBrisbane,
Vegas toVladivostokand Incheon to theGreat BarrierReef.
So it is we bring you this year’s issue of
Inside Asian Gaming
dedicated to themen and women shaping the future of thismost
dynamicof theworld’sgaming regions,with theestablishedplayers
working feverishly to maintain their positions and several new
names pursuing greenfield ventures in emerging destinations. We
hope you’ll find their stories as interesting aswedo.
Our eighth
annual ranking
of the industry’s
most influential
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