The casino industry in Macau registered in December another month to forget, to complete the worst year on record, the Monthly Gross Revenue from Games of Fortune report released by the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau revealed.
December YoY Decline Less than in November
Casinos in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China showed little signs of recovery having generated MOP7.82 billion ($938 million) in December, a 65.8% decline from the MOP22.84 billion ($2.74 billion) revenue the industry posted in December 2019.
The monthly report number was in line with the median of estimates from analysts which came at 68% decline, following the 70.5% drop in November, but also confirmed the year-over-year trend of slowing down losses which began in September, giving reason for optimism that the industry is slowly picking up.
By the end of last month, the Asia Pacific subsidiary of JP Morgan Securities issued an investor update, warning that the higher December number of visitations to Macau compared to the previous two months was due to the Christmas period and should not be taken at face value.
2020 Revenue a Bleak Shadow of the 2019 Number
On a cumulative base, December revenue completed MOP60.44 billion for 2020, a 79.3% slump compared to the MOP292.45 billion casinos in the SAR generated in 2019, to finish the worst year on record for the Macau gaming industry.
More than 3 months after China eased travel and visa restrictions, Macau is still struggling to attract players back to its gaming floors as gamblers continue to find the entry application process difficult and time-consuming.
More Travel Restrictions
On top of that, the latest development in the UK where health authorities announced they found a new strain of the coronavirus forced Macau government to tighten border restrictions, preventing residents of Greater China who have been abroad within the past 3 weeks from entering the gambling hub.
Despite having not registered a single new case in the past 6 months, Macau is re-assessing risks related to new waves of the infection appearing in both Hong Kong and in parts on mainland China, facilitated by the colder weather.
Gaming analysts who follow developments in the Macau gambling industry expect casinos to rebound this year, with some forecasts projecting gaming levels to return to 80% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019.