September 21, 2023 3 min read


Macau Reports Decrease in Gambling Participation Rates and Gambling Disorders

New data from a University of Macau survey revealed that gambling rates remain well below pre-COVID levels

Macau, renowned as a global gambling hub, has reported significant shifts in its gambling landscape. The territory’s Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) cited a recent University of Macau survey, noting that gambling participation and gambling disorders among adults significantly decreased in 2022. These figures match Macau’s efforts to diversify its offerings and gradually reduce the role of gambling.

Survey Results Show Promising Progress

A research report titled “A Study of Macao People’s Participation in Gambling Activities 2022” has indicated that 30.1% of the adult population in Macau participated in gambling activities in 2022. This figure represents a significant decrease from the 2019 rate of 40.9%. Although the pandemic likely influenced these results, the figure still represents a notable departure from pre-COVID levels.

Among the 2,033 survey respondents, only nine individuals showed signs of a potential gambling disorder. These people accounted for a mere 0.45% of the overall sample, reflecting Macau’s successful harm prevention measures. Social Welfare Bureau representative Ms Wu I Mui noted the number of people seeking help with gambling-related issues dropped by 40% from 2019.

The first half of this year saw 19 requests for assistance regarding gambling harm, marking no increase in the incidence of detected gambling disorders.

Wu I Mui, Social Welfare Bureau representative

Social Gaming remains the most popular form of gambling among Macau residents at 15.6%, followed by Mark Six Lottery’s 13.0%. Casino game participation was merely 5.6%, while slot machines trailed them with 3.0%. These results indicate that locals generally avoid the region’s high-profile gambling venues. Sports betting had difficulties engaging residents, ranking last at 2.5%.

This Data Does Not Reflect the Wider Gambling Sector

Macau’s latest gambling survey underscores changes in the local gambling landscape. The decrease in gambling participation rates suggests shifts in preferences and priorities among Macau residents, while improved responsible gambling practices and support mechanisms had a noticeable impact. These changes are promising and reflect the local government’s overarching policy.

The Macau government is relentlessly investing in developing new industries like tourism, finance, and technology. Numerous new initiatives aim to draw visitors away from casinos and towards the city’s cultural and heritage attractions. New licenses have operators invest substantial amounts in non-gambling activities, exemplified by recent high-profile launches like the Londoner Macao.

While the recent results show promise, the survey remained limited to Macau locals and may not necessarily reflect the region’s broader gaming landscape. Gambling-related tourism still accounts for most of the local economy, and diversification efforts remain slow. However, the survey data marks steady progress towards a new, reimagined Macau.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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