Macau is slated to overtake Qatar as the world’s richest destination. However, if part of this wealth is generated through gaming operations, it’s worth noting that this lucrative sector may be coming under threat according to experts.
Macau’s Waning Gaming Power
Macau seems to be well-poised. Despite a plethora of sanctions from mainland China, the enclave has done exceptionally well in terms of net revenues over the past few months. Not even nature’s elements could put a dent in the stellar results of the gaming industry, although they did indeed bring around a short hiatus.
Now, a new and far more palpable threat may be shaping up and surprisingly it’s neither sanctions nor typhoons. It’s Macau’s ability to keep with the latest innovation. According to a gaming lawyer based in the enclave, the country will soon need to compete with up-and-coming jurisdictions, such as Japan.
Jose Alvares, who is a partner at Macau’s CA Lawyers, has articulated his doubts about the future of the industry in Macau. Faced with serious contenders from South Korea and now Japan, Macau will have to do its best to be on top of the industry.
According to Mr. Alvares, substantial investment is necessary for the enclave to continue running at full capacity and at the forefront. Not suggesting to splurge out indiscriminately, Mr. Alvares has specific suggestions, asking lawmakers to seek and bolster the funding that goes to education and training.
Mr. Alvares outlined funding alongside “the desire to want to be first in the industry” as the crucial elements of success. Without these conditions, he said, Macau will soon slip of its leadership position, even if it’s slated to overtake Qatar.
That means we need education, training, sending people to the US to study and learn more about these new technologies. -Alvares
Mr. Alvares also pointed out to the general aversion to embracing technologies well beyond gaming. Macau’s government is taking dim view of blockchain as well, even though blockchain is a proven technology, Mr. Alvares considers.
He continued by outlining a future in which Macau took a secondary place in relation to gaming and the enclave gradually slips. In order to improve their prospects, gaming giants would need to hire studious and smart graduates who have the necessary skills to bring change around without unnecessary delay.
At the moment there is fear in Macau about innovation, online gaming, blockchain and all of these emerging industries. The government takes a negative view of blockchain but the headlines they refer to are all about scams. The actual blockchain technology is a proven technology.
Mr. Alvares also appealed to hire more US graduates, or in the very least locals who have been sent to study abroad, so that Macau can benefit from the exchange of technology. Fear of tech solutions would bode badly for the entire industry. There is, of course a silver lining, and Beijing is not yet so far behind from challenging the US technological superiority, if one indeed exists.
One distinct challenge ahead of Macau is bringing the online and offline segments together. Business leaders have reiterated the challenges thereof, which, nevertheless, remains something that is quite accessible to western companies.