It's been a good week for casino gaming as it appears to be on the rise in several areas of the world. From Asia to Australia to Canada, there are all sorts of positive headlines to recap. We'll start with the news from China, where Macau's revenue numbers look as strong as they've been in a long time.
Macau Expecting 12% Gains in 2017
Macau has gone from being on the rebound to being on the rise.
After being hit hard by a crackdown from Chinese President Xi Jinping, the gambling capital of Asia had really struggled. Starting in 2014, revenues spiraled downward as the six casinos that call Macau home saw their market fall by 46%. However, their gross gaming revenue is going back up and it is expected to increase by 12% in 2017, which would count for about $31 billion.
There are a few reasons for this. First off, the real estate market has bounced back and more people have disposable income. That's important to the middle class. Meanwhile, the wealthy had concerns about being caught up in corruption but seem far more comfortable to visit Macau now that we've moved past the crackdown.
China still has its eye on Macau as they feel it is too easy for people to take their money out of the mainland in relation to laundering concerns. They eventually want Macau to be a more diverse place, similar to Las Vegas. That would make it more of an entertainment hub and not just a place to gamble. Now that the casinos are making healthy profits again, they can look into ways to reinvest it and diversify their offerings.
Majority of Gambling in Australia is Online
A new report has come out that shows that about 65% of all the betting done in Australia is digital. This includes betting done online and over the phone. This was despite a recent ban by the government that closed a loophole called "click to call", which allowed gamblers to call and bet on situations that were happening in a game as it was happening. It's a surprising study to some as it comes at a time when the government is cracking down on online poker.
Sportsbet, which is owned by Paddy Power, is the most popular sports betting app in the country, while William Hill, Bet365, Ladbrokes and CrownBet are also increasing their share in the market. Meanwhile, retail betting is down 6% and that could continue to decline as more players move online.
Ottawa is Opening Up a Hard Rock Casino
Our last stop is in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, where an announcement was made to launch a new $320 million casino. Hard Rock International and RCR Investor Inc. are getting together to create a new entertainment experience via the Hard Rock brand. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation will work with them on the casino side and make sure that those operations fall under regulations.
There will be a complete redesign of the Rideau Carleton Raceway, which will become a Hard Rock venue. There will be a Hard Rock Hotel and a Hard Rock Cafe added to the property. The goal is to make it a more complete venue, which will allow for shows to take place, a bigger selection on the gaming floor, and upper-scale dining. In terms of the local community, nearly 2000 new construction jobs are expected to be created for the operation.