As Bloomberg reported, the two biggest players in the iGaming industry – Hong Kong-based Galaxy Entertainment Group and Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International – are now exploring opening casino resorts in Thailand to protect themselves from the worsening prospects of their Macau operations.

Stressful situations for both companies:

The move to expand their presence and enter new markets means stress for casino operators over a deteriorating outlook for the Macau business, which once generated six times Las Vegas’ gaming revenue and provided historically high returns.

In this regard, those who did not want to be identified because they believe this is private said, “Galaxy Entertainment Group and MGM Resorts International are working on the possibility of opening a casino resort in the country. However, Galaxy, a gaming, retail, and hospitality group controlled by billionaire Lui Chewo, is also looking to start a gaming business in the United Arab Emirates.”

Shares of Galaxy Entertainment extended gains to 5.3% in Hong Kong trading on Friday, while MGM China, a unit of MGM Resorts, rose more than 6%. That also helped push Bloomberg Intelligence indicators for shares of the Macau casino operator higher than 5%.

China’s wish to get Macau out of gambling:

China’s main goal is to move Macau away from gambling and toward entertainment. To that end, it has cracked down on high-value players accused of money laundering, while strengthening its surveillance of gambling behavior.

While the tourism boom sparked by China’s reopening of Macau’s borders, Macau’s gaming revenue returned to nearly 60% of pre-COVID-19 levels in May, that explosive increase in tourism is potentially set to decline later this year as pent-up demand subsides and flight capacity increases, prompting many Chinese to move abroad. It will also take years for the city to add more non-gaming attractions and events to fill the void left by VIP gamblers, who make up half of total gaming revenue.

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