IAG looks back at our cover story from exactly 10 years ago, “Seriously big”, to rediscover what was making the news in May 2012!
With Macau’s suppliers well advanced in converting their products to comply with the new EGM Technical Standards 2.0, it seems apt to look back on our cover story from the May 2012 issue of IAG, titled “Seriously big”.
Ten years ago this month, we took an in-depth look at the growth of the slot machine segment in Macau which, although dwarfed by the sheer popularity of baccarat, was starting to print some pretty impressive numbers of its own.
IAG reported at the time that Macau’s slot industry had grown from revenue of just US$29 million in 2003 – accounting for less than 1% of the market – to revenue of US$1.43 billion in 2011, comprising 4.5% of industry GGR.
The number of machines also grew from 2,250 in 2004 to 16,000 by early 2012.
And while the tremendous growth of baccarat continued to grab headlines – up 558% between 2004 and 2011 at an annualized growth rate of 26.3% – slot revenue growth had outpaced the market on a percentage basis by 3 to 1.
Aristocrat’s then-General Manager for Asia Pacific, David Punter, told IAG at the time, “There is a real slot player in the region now. There is a real slot player coming from Mainland China and from Hong Kong, and this is greater than what we all thought originally from a tables perspective. There’s a market there. There’s a player there.”
Naturally, such explosive growth has not continued in the decade since 2012, although Macau’s slot machine segment remains a valuable contributor to the industry – even if it still comprises only around 6% of industry GGR. By 4Q19, the last quarter before COVID-19 changed the world, the number of machines in the Macau market had reached just over 17,000, with annual segment GGR of MOP$15.1 billion (US$1.89 billion).