Macao – one island, a whole lot going on.

My job here at TransAct Technologies Inc. provides me with a unique opportunity to travel the world and spread awareness of our company and products. I recently spent two weeks in Asia visiting customers and attending industry events.

The territory of Macao is positively booming. Known as one of the most popular gambling destinations in the world, the island contains 35 casinos that draw visitors from all over the world. Development is ongoing at such a rapid pace that one of the area’s favorite jokes is to claim the crane (as in construction crane) is the official bird of Macao.

An almost non-existent unemployment rate speaks to widespread opportunity in the region. Companies have taken to poaching employees from other companies in an effort to fill their open positions. Other effects of a low unemployment rate are an increase in rents – estimated to rise roughly 30% this year – and a rise in salary cost to compensate for the rise in the cost of living.

Macao casino gaming revenues have taken a hit lately as a result of a recent government anti-corruption drive that has caused high-stake VIP gamblers to curtail their spend in Macao casinos.

While VIP business has been affected significantly, there is another demographic of player that many think will be the future for Macao – the mass-market player. In fact, some estimates cite that mass-market gaming is potentially four times as profitable as VIP gaming.

At present, mass business in the region is growing at about 15% per year and is expected to post higher revenues going forward. That’s especially good news for us, as mass-market players love to play slot machines.

While in Macao, I attended the Macao Gaming Show. While it is one of the smaller gaming shows we attend on a regular basis, its size allows for great access to many, if not all, of the important slot and casino managers in Macao. We gave Epicentral® demos to visitors to our booth – the feedback from them was overwhelmingly positive.

Overall, my latest trip to Macao was impressive and successful.