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Macau Registers Notable Decrease in Gambling Activity and Disorders as Economic Diversification Progresses

Decline in Macau’s Adult Gambling Rates Amid Economic Diversification Image

Macau, a global nexus for gambling activities, is witnessing a paradigm shift in its adult gambling landscape. A recent report by the University of Macau, substantiated by the territory’s Social Welfare Bureau (IAS), illustrates a decline in both gambling participation and instances of gambling disorders among Macau residents in 2022. According to the data, a mere 30.1% of Macau’s adult population engaged in gambling activities this year, down from 40.9% in 2019. While the COVID-19 pandemic has had its effects, the trend is unmistakably toward lower engagement, aligning well with the government’s economic diversification strategy.

In terms of gambling disorders, the research reveals that only 0.45% of the survey respondents exhibited potential symptoms. This supports the efficacy of Macau’s risk mitigation strategies aimed at reducing gambling-related harm. Furthermore, IAS spokesperson, Ms. Wu I Mui, reported a significant 40% reduction in the number of people seeking assistance for gambling issues compared to the year 2019. Only 19 new cases related to gambling harm were reported in the first half of this year, underscoring Macau’s successful preventative measures.

The data further elucidates the gambling preferences of Macau’s resident population. Social gaming topped the charts with a 15.6% participation rate, followed by Mark Six Lottery at 13.0%. Conventional casino activities and slot machine gaming saw considerably lower engagement, reflecting a shift in local attitudes towards these forms of gambling. This evolving scenario is indicative of the government’s ongoing efforts to recalibrate the economic focus away from gambling and towards other sectors like tourism, finance, and technology.

Implications for the Broader Gambling Ecosystem

However, the scope of the study was limited to Macau’s resident population and does not provide a comprehensive picture of the broader gambling ecosystem. Macau remains a preferred destination for gambling tourism, and the sector continues to contribute significantly to the local economy. For those interested in a variety of gambling options, the Online Casinos List page provides a comprehensive guide to reputable establishments.

Diversification efforts have been slow but are steadily gaining momentum. In line with the government’s multi-industry investment strategy, new large-scale, non-gambling venues such as the Londoner Macao have been launched, aiming to divert tourists towards cultural and heritage attractions. Although the resident-focused study shows promising steps toward a more diversified economic framework, the reality remains that the territory’s gambling industry, particularly in terms of international tourism, still commands a significant share of the market. Therefore, while the data indicates positive progress, a fully reimagined Macau is still on the horizon.

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Stanislav Samkovskyi

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