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澳门

Macao’s odds
Lex专栏:澳门赌场为谁忙?

尽管澳门博彩业收入连年增长,博彩类股的涨幅却远逊大盘,根本原因在于赌场向中介公司支付的佣金比例大幅上升。

The real story of Macao is told not in the soaring median monthly wages of workers in the gaming industry, which have doubled since 2000, or the steadily rising occupancy rates in the city’s five-star hotels. It is told in the share prices of the 22 Macanese gaming stocks listed in Hong Kong. In spite of successive years of rising gross gaming revenues in the former Portuguese colony – last year they were up a record 58 per cent to US$23bn – the sector has lagged behind the Hang Seng by more than 100 percentage points over the past five years.

澳门博彩业员工月薪中位数的飙涨(自2000年以来已增长1倍)以及五星级酒店入住率的稳步攀升,并没有道出澳门真正的“故事”——它隐藏在22家在港上市的澳门博彩公司的股价之中。尽管这个前葡萄牙殖民地的博彩业总收入连续多年增长——去年创纪录地增长58%至230亿美元——但过去5年,澳门博彩类股的涨幅却比恒生指数(Hang Seng)落后了逾100%。

The main reason is the

主要原因是中国大陆博彩中介公司的权力越来越大,这些中介公司负责召集贵宾赌客。中国政府的外汇管制,意味着这些虽获许可、但行事隐秘的公司(至少有127家)为澳门33家赌场发挥着至关重要的作用:除了他们,没有人能把人民币存款转换成港元,以便在赌场换取筹码。2005年前后,当澳门博彩业向外国公司开放之时,赌场向这些中介公司支付的佣金通常为收入的20%到25%。瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)估计,如今这一比例已升至44%-48%。

ever-growing muscle of the “junket” promoters from mainland China, which round up groups of associates for VIP visits. Beijing’s currency restrictions mean that these licensed but shadowy groups – 127 of them, at last count – perform a vital function for Macao’s 33 casinos: no one else can collect renminbi deposits to convert into Hong Kong dollars, which the casinos then exchange for chips. Typical commissions paid to the junkets were 20-25 per cent of revenues in the mid-2000s, when gaming was opened to foreign competition. That share has now risen to between 44 and 48 per cent, by Credit Suisse’s reckoning.

如果能做得到,赌场不会去理睬这些中介:大众市场的营运利润率要高出大约3倍多。但即便是更重视大众市场的赌场,近一半的营运利润也来自于大赌客。与此同时,中介人唯一的问题就是维持充足的营运资金。他们的做法是:将不良债务维持在最低限度;支付比内地银行高得多的利息、以吸引资金;以及要求赌场预付佣金。在澳门,立于不败之地的并非“房主”,而是“门童”。

Casinos would ignore the junkets if they could: operating profit margins in the mass-market segment are about three times higher. But even the more mass market-focused resorts depend on high-rollers for almost half of their operating earnings. The promoters’ only problem, meanwhile, is maintaining adequate working capital, which they do by keeping bad debts to a minimum, paying much higher interest rates than mainland banks to draw in funds, and tapping casinos for advance commissions. In Macao, it’s not the house that always wins but the doormen.

Lex专栏是由FT评论家联合撰写的短评,对全球经济与商业进行精辟分析

译者/何黎

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