All three U.S. stocks held their recent declines.

It’s not a quick sand, but the market is in a state of confusion at best as Macau’s fifth consecutive quarter of revenue declines. Most analysts do not agree with the timing or forecast of recovery and do not go too far with the expected. The Chinese government’s continued attacks on the VIP market, the plunge in mainland China’s stock market, and a lack of overall growth targets are crippling mass market disposable income and creating a consumer mindset of austerity on affluence. Situations that might have seemed like minor hiccups in the past have sent shivers through the weakened financial center. Uncertainty about the universal smoking ban is not a small part of it.

The catalyst for one of yesterday’s figures appears to be an announcement from junket operator Neptune Group Ltd, after a large annual loss was reported in an HKEX filing on Friday. The news is that the island’s leader, Galaxy Macao, expects to replace lost business by avoiding current anti-smoking regulations and withdrawing other junket operators for greener pastures by offering a positive direction for re-using and repurposing former VIP rolling chip venues as premium gaming venues for cash users.

If the game industry grows temporarily, it is expected that the golden holiday, Macau’s largest “holiday” period after the Lunar New Year, will not catch on fire, adding to the gloomy outlook. Angela Leung-on-K, executive director of SJM Holdings, eased her stance on this in hopes that the restaurant, retail sales and convention business will grow in the mainland tourism business.

Several factors, including a 40% drop in China’s stock market over the past 10 weeks, have contributed to putting the giant economic engine Macau in trouble. Beijing’s economic handlers may have secretly attempted to push U.S. operators out of Macau with a junket crackdown, but the tiger’s tail may be slipping out of their hands at a time when the rest of the economy is in dire straits.

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