US-China trade war bad news for Macau casinos

Asia Gaming Brief

Any trade war between the US and China could have implications for Macau casino companies, which, according to Steve Vickers and Associates (SVA), sit on the “geopolitical fault line.”

“US patience towards China’s mercantilism – exemplified by the provision of cheap credit and subsidies to exporters, the systematic appropriation of intellectual property, and a failure to open its economy – has run short,” said SVA.

The United States has responded by imposing tariffs on Chinese steel, aluminum, and Chinese goods, which in turn has led to the Chinese government imposing own tariffs on various American exports.

“Further escalation seems inevitable, as tensions intensify,” said the firm in a report.

The Hong Kong-based risk advisory firm said any slowdown in the yuan’s value may lead to Beijing imposing further restrictions on capital outflows, while US-based casino companies, with their ties to Trump, may see their Macau concessions at risk as a result.

“The gaming sector in Macau is highly exposed. Any significant slowdown or fall in the yuan’s value may lead to Beijing’s further curbing of capital outflows, so dampening casino revenues. Moreover, three of Macau’s six gaming concessionaires are US companies, Las Vegas Sands, MGM, and Wynn Resorts; and LVS founder Sheldon Adelson boasts close ties to US President Trump.”

“These companies now sit on a geopolitical fault line,” said the firm.