If you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the casino business in Macau, think again.
Macau’s gaming industry has experienced 12 straight monthly gaming revenue declines, and more declines are expected.
Casinos in Macau collected $2.5 billion from gamblers in May, a 37 percent drop compared to the same month last year, according to Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
Howard Stutz, gaming columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, told KNPR's State of Nevada that the slide started a year ago with the crackdown on junket operators by the Chinese government.
Unlike junkets to Las Vegas, which are usually for middle of the road gamblers from Utah or California, the junkets in Macau are used by high rollers.
The government went after operators who were associated with organized crime, and the high rollers stopped going.
Another contributor to Macau's decline was the slowdown suffered by the entire Chinese economy over the past year.
And finally, a ban on smoking in casinos has hurt the bottom line because so many people in China smoke.
"It was a combination of everything all dumped on Macau in the last year," Stutz said.
He said the decrease in revenue has impacted Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp. the most because they're the most heavily invested in that market.
Despite the drop, the two resorts and MGM Resorts International are all involved in new development.
"All three of these companies are building huge multi-billion dollar resorts that are supposed to start opening in 2016," Stutz said.
While there has been a months of declines, Stutz said Macau's May revenue is more than double what the entire Nevada market did.
Howard Stutz, gaming reporter and columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal
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