Several industry marketing experts, speaking to GGRAcia, say acquiring VIPs and premium mass gamblers outside of China is a priority for Asia-Pacific casino operators.
One of the experts added that this could be a challenge, especially for Macau operators who have spent more than a decade generating large gambling volumes from high-value customers in mainland China.
“Including Chinese customers in the pre-COVID period has helped not only Macau, but also the “Singapore, Philippines, South Korea, Cambodia and Australia” tourism and gambling markets,” Kevin Clayton said in a commentary to GGRASIA. He has worked as a senior marketing executive for several Macau licenses and is currently an integrated resort specialist for consulting firm mega brands Asia.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has been exercising a zero-tolerance approach to community infections, which has put movement controls on outbound and inbound travelers bound for the mainland, Macau and Hong Kong. 온라인경마
Chinese authorities have also consistently emphasized a crackdown on citizens traveling abroad for casino play or engaging in online betting over the past few years. The country has revised its criminal law to make it illegal to help others in such activities. It went into effect on March 1, 2021.
“Getting VIP customers and financing through traditional junkets is now a thing of the past,” Mr Clayton said, referring to other recent developments in the Macau hi-roller market and how local casinos have previously recruited players from mainland China
He said, “The battleground of the Asian market will be for Chinese and Korean immigrants to live, work and own businesses in the market. Especially in Korea and Vietnam, locals are prohibited from entering foreigner-owned casinos,” he added
Jit Ng, chief marketing officer at Vietnam’s casino resort of Hoiana, said it was essential for operators to try to get the right product mix to get “broader” customers and attract them. Located on the central coast of Vietnam, the gaming and leisure complex has a foreigner-only casino and is phasing out luxury hotel accommodation.
“Our strategy is always focused on balancing Da Nang on the customer base due to its attraction as a major tourist destination for [South] Koreans, Malaysians, Japanese and Singaporeans as well as Chinese. These markets have always been important to us, and our balanced approach has been effective in attracting valuable customers,” said a Hoiana executive.
Mr Ng told us, “When it comes to volume, we need to recognize that the VIP [game] volume that was previously seen in Macau no longer exists in the market today. So it comes down to driving our strategy in bulk and premium bulk play.”