Macau Survey: Premium Mass a Hedge Against Soft Economy

A CSLA survey says 78 percent of Chinese premium mass gamblers plan to visit Macau at least twice over the next year, up from 57 percent in 2019. The customer segment is a significant contributor to the city’s casinos.

Macau Survey: Premium Mass a Hedge Against Soft Economy

A new survey from investment group CSLA says premium mass players from mainland China are more vital than ever to Macau gaming, especially in a sagging economy.

According to Asia Gaming Brief, 800 members of that customer segment responded to the China Reality Research (CRR) poll. They said they are more likely to make repeated trips to Macau than in the pre-Covid era. Seventy percent indicated they planned to visit at least twice during the next 12 months—up from 57 percent in 2019.

Most premium mass players—96 percent—also said they would stay in Macau for two or more nights, versus 93 percent for mass players.

“We continue to note high willingness to visit and spend money in the city, with notable strength among our premium panelists,” wrote CLSA analysts Jeffrey Kiang, Lance Noble and Leo Pan. “This aligns with our view that premium mass visitors are generally more immune to any macro slowdown, given Macau is a niche market targeting the wealthier ones.”

The analysts said Beijing’s move to ease the individual visa application (IVS) process is a plus, as 45 percent of respondents are more likely to schedule a trip that’s hassle-free.

“The government’s expansion of eligible cities under IVS will likely offer support too,” the analysts said.

Forty-eight percent of mainland Chinese gamblers said Macau is the only place they go to gamble. An additional 20 percent said they prefer to visit Singapore, home of two casino resorts, though the Beijing government has explicitly warned Chinese players against gambling abroad.