Yesterday I talked about the amazing "fact" that Macau now sells more watches and jewellery than it does clothing, supermarket goods and motor vehicles combined.
But now I read something interesting. Many mainlanders come to Macau to gamble of course. How do they get all that money to start playing at the tables?
They can't use their bank cards with Union Pay at overseas ATM machines.
So what do they do to fuel their gambling habit? They buy watches and jewellery.
They "buy" these high-priced ticket items using their bank cards or credit cards at pawn shops and then immediately "sell" them back for cash.
So when Jimmy Mak, the vice-president of the Omega watch division for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan was quoted as saying the average sale amount in Macau is much higher than Hong Kong and probably the highest in the world, was he talking about the numbers of people who actually buy watches or the number of transactions to "buy" watches?
An intrepid reporter should follow up on that and try to find out which outlets offer this ingenious service.
In the meantime it adds another clue to the gambling frenzy in Macau, but it still doesn't explain where all that money comes from...