Lionel Leong says Macau’s economy is likely to decline in the first quarter of 2015 if gaming revenues continue to drop.
The Secretary for Economy and Finance also says the government is taking note of the steep decrease in casino revenues reported during the Chinese New Year week.
Gaming revenue is estimated to have plunged by more than half this month until the 23rd. And sources say revenue during Chinese New Year was weak, compared to previous years.
Leong said if gaming income continues to drop, it will take a toll on the region’s Gross Domestic Product, which may decline: “We can see that our gaming income in the 4th quarter declined. And it also went down in January compared with January 2014.
Also the consumption pattern has been adjusted. We should say that regardless of the consumption or the consumption format has been adjusted. Therefore, we speculate that the GDP would also tend to drop,” the Secretary said.
Leong was asked if tightening up restrictions on individual visit scheme tourists from Mainland China would affect Macau’s economy.
He says the government will discuss the tourism policies with Mainland China.
The authority will do a research on the city’s carrying capacity and the consumption pattern of tourists.