MGM Macau CEO Grant Bowie said Wednesday that protestors backing Hong Kong’s “Occupy Central” movement should not impact the city’s economy while expressing their views.
Bowie made the comment in response to a reporter’s question on whether the protests in Hong Kong has affected Macau. The TDM reporter mentioned in her question that the Hong Kong protests had resulted in restrictions on mainlanders’ Hong Kong visas.
“I think we’ve seen some issues in Hong Kong which is an expression of some people in Hong Kong, but clearly that’s not all of the population,” Bowie said, on the sidelines of the gaming operator’s annual “Oktoberfest” event at its property in Nape.
“I fully understand the protestors are passionate about their views but I think we always need to remember that expressing your views should not impact the economy or the enjoyment of other people’s lives,” he said.
Bowie said that the visa policy was a sign that the central government is taking “some heat out of the market”, which was helping the market to have “a more balanced visitation to Macau,” adding, “We’re also starting to see the impact of the diversification, more families and more young people are coming to Macau.”
“It’s been widely reported that we’ve been going through a period of consolidation in Macau. I also see changes in the visitor patterns from [mainland] China and that we’re spreading the visitors out more evenly over the year, which is a good thing for Macau,” Bowie said.
He also said that given the trends over the last three to four months, gaming revenue in October would continue to drop, even though it is the month of the “Golden Week” National Day holiday for mainlanders.
“I think we all need to work through what is a significant transformation in [mainland] China, but I’m confident we’ll come out of it, rebound and be stronger and more diversified as a result of the changes and the consolidation we’re going through at the moment,” he said. “I’m very confident in Macau, we’re very solid, we’re still the largest gaming destination in the world.”
The central and Hong Kong government has said that the “Occupy Central” protests are illegal.