Inside Asian Gaming speaks with Jay Chun, Chairman of the Macau Gaming Equipment Manufacturers Association, about this year’s MGS Entertainment Show and the current state of Macau’s gaming industry.
Ben Blaschke: What can visitors expect from MGS Entertainment Show in 2019?
Jay Chun: This year our visitors can expect more exciting and diversified elements such as the 5G experience center supported by CTM, China International Import Expo promotion zone supported by the Trade Development Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and we will have a co-organized MGS Summit with ICBC Macau.
Besides all these new elements, many new exhibitors will participate in our show floor to showcase their latest products. I believe MGS Summit is a golden opportunity for people to attend as they can learn more about the IR industry in Asia and other regions. MGS 2019 is a must-see as it explores the future of many new products ranging from gaming, leisure and entertainment to technology and virtual reality.
BB: What’s different to previous shows?
JC: MGS 2019 is by far more dynamic than in previous years. Various departments of the Macau SAR Government have been exceptional supporters of MGS and this year we have acquired more support from the Central Government as well as more diversified partners and their co-operations.
MGS 2019 continues to be “a platform of communication” among suppliers, gaming operators, hospitality sectors and other members of the entertainment industry.
Our show will continue to evolve according to the changing rhythms of the industry, which is why it remains so relevant and why the gaming, leisure, entertainment and technology industries, throughout Asia and the rest of the world, trust MGS as the right exhibition platform via which to drive their businesses forward.
BB: What will be the main focus of this year’s Summit and who will be speaking?
JC: As the first pluralistic leisure exhibition in Asia, MGS 2019 provides a platform for business trading and MGS Summit offers an information platform for many different industry segments such as eSports, Financial Technology, Leisure, Gaming, Entertainment and IR.
Last year, we had the honor of hosting many IR government officials from Japan as speakers at MGS Summit where they shared with our audience the latest perspectives of their IR development blueprints. This year we will continue to invite these speakers to share their opinions regarding some of the potential “hot spots” for their IR development locations in which we believe IRs in Japan will continue to be a main focus globally. And of course, there are topics on how to maximize unique resource advantages and participate in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and “Belt and Road” development.
BB: This is the seventh running of MGS. What has been the secret to its longevity?
JC: The MGEMA (Macau Gaming Equipment Manufacturers Association), aside from being the organizer of MGS, is a Macau based trade body with the goal of promoting and serving on behalf of the gaming and entertainment industries in the Macau SAR. Our membership is the most significant contributor to the SAR economy and is a key player in the development and longevity of MGS.
They participate and support MGS by promoting their best and new products on the show floor, thus further assisting in the development of the Macau gaming industry. MGS 2019 continues to have the honor of being led by the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macau SAR and various departments of the Macau SAR Government have been exceptional supporters as well.
All the local operators in Macau have faith in MGS and are very supportive of seeing great improvement in each MGS show.
BB: What do you envision for the future of MGS?
JC: I envision the future of MGS to become a B2B trade show that represents innovation and a pioneer show in gaming industry development. We will continue to promote MGS to be a professional trade show with outstanding recognition in Asia for the IR industry. To further extend to global IR industries is our ultimate goal.
BB: What are your thoughts on the current state of the Macau gaming industry?
JC: From my personal point of view, the gaming revenue in the second half of 2019 will most likely be in negative growth. According to official statistics, Macau’s gross gaming revenue fell 1.9% year-on-year in the first eight months of 2019 but I truly believe the gaming income situation will improve next year.
Also, I think with the double celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 20th anniversary of Macau’s return to the motherland in the fourth quarter of 2019, plus many other celebratory events, the number of tourists will increase and therefore provide an opportunity to see growth in gaming and entertainment revenues.
Macau, being the leading gaming center in Asia, has the potential to become the foremost in the gaming industry in terms of innovation and development.
BB: Are you concerned by some of the headwinds Macau has faced in recent times with China’s slowing economy, the US-China trade war and the protests in Hong Kong?
JC: Statistically speaking, inbound visitors to Macau are still stable and no damage or impacts have affected the gaming market so far. I have great confidence in the ability of the government of Hong Kong to resolve the situation and I will hold a “wait-and-see” attitude on the US-China trade war.
BB: The junket industry has attracted some negative publicity over the past few months in both China and Australia. What are your thoughts on the situation and how important do you see junkets being to the long-term future of Macau’s gaming industry?
JC: From my personal perspective, Macau has the tightest laws and regulations for anti-money laundering and faces the strictest supervision. So I believe the junkets in Macau will continue to grow and develop in a healthy way and will still play an important role in the long-term future of Macau’s gaming industry.
BB: What does Macau need to truly become a World Center of Tourism and Leisure?
JC: I think Macau can continue to deepen its master plan as a Creative City of Gastronomy and expand its focus on destination marketing. Through “Exchange and Innovation” Macau can strengthen its inheritance and innovation of local Macanese Cuisine and carry out cross-field cooperation and exchange with other creative cities in the world by hosting and supporting international gastronomic events.
The service industry is also another mainstream industry in Macau. I believe that by improving service quality as well as urban transportation planning, such as the LRT system, we can further promote Macau to become a World Center of Tourism and Leisure.