April Was Good to Macau, as Casinos Record Highest Total in More Than a Year

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It can now be said, with guarded optimism, that Macau is headed in the right direction with its post-COVID-19 recovery. After suffering a year of virtually non-existent revenue, the city has now recorded two consecutive months of improvement, with March and April bringing substantial gains. The latest figures have been released by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), for its Portuguese acronym), and the April win was $1.05 billion. It seems that the trend will continue, as May 1 saw the most arrivals to the city since the pandemic began.

Macau’s Casinos Turning Optimistic

In March, casinos in Macau reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $1.04 billion, with April’s GGR improving on that by about 1.1%. While that improvement isn’t significant, it’s a jump of more than 1,000% over what was seen a year ago when COVID-19 gripped the city. The GGR for last month is the highest amount recorded since the global pandemic began and follows an upward trend that would seem to indicate that things are returning to normal.

There is still a lot of work to be done, as the figure is still 64% lower than it was for the same period in April 2019. Still, Macau has been able to see two consecutive months of GGR that has topped $1 billion, which is a momentous achievement, given the economic damage the city has suffered over the past year. In April 2020, Macau was a virtual ghost town, with its borders closed to almost everyone and local visitation to casinos off-limits.

More Growth Coming to Macau In May

It’s very likely that May will be an even better month, if May 1 is any indication. The first five days of May are May Day Golden Week, which has gotten off to a great start. According to statistics already released, May 1 recorded more than 44,000 arrivals, the highest number since before the pandemic began. It was also the highest recorded for this year, 34,729 from April 17. March had an average of 24,340 a day and April’s high could represent a huge gain, but the final figures have not yet been released.

Sunday’s arrivals dipped to 36,000 and yesterday’s number fell to 34,000. The city was expecting a daily average of around 40,000, which it hasn’t reached, but the results are still positive. Many luxury hotels have been sold out for the first three nights of the long weekend and there were over 100 flights on each of the first two days of Golden Week. Casino operators continue to show more encouragement with the increasingly positive results, propelled by the fact that there have been no new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in over a year.

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