Macau Gets a Small Boost in GGR, Could See More Growth

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Macau didn’t see any significant uptick in traffic from Golden Week this month, but things improved slightly since then. The average daily gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the third week of October was a big improvement over the prior week, and more increases could be coming. The Macau Grand Prix will be held in November, which should drive traffic to the gambling hub.

Macau Continues Slow Post-COVID-19 Recovery

Golden Week delivered a significant amount of traffic to Macau, but that wasn’t accompanied by a substantial increase in revenue. The second week of the month wasn’t any better, but the third week has jumped. The average daily GGR for Macau was $20 million from October 18-24, 100% greater than it had been a week prior, according to analysts with the Bernstein brokerage.

The daily visitor figures rose to 25,252 on Friday of last week, marking the highest number since new COVID-19 countermeasures were introduced in September. These were lifted on October 19, effectively ending most mandatory quarantines and travel restrictions. Despite the improvement, however, Macau is still way off track from where it should be, with the results reflecting an 86% drop compared to October 2019. In the first three weeks of this month, the total GGR was $363 million. The average daily GGR is also a 38% drop from the $24.5 million seen in September.

Overall, the analysts expect October to fall significantly short of expectations. Bernstein’s Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu asserted, “We forecast October GGR to be down over 80% vs October 2019 and expect GGR improvement (which has just begun) to continue in November-December, but more significant travel impediment removals are not likely until next year. Longer term, IVS eVisa and group visa restart and Hong Kong travel resumption will be necessary to drive GGR upwards.”

Macau Grand Prix to Boost November

Macau’s casinos could start to see more activity as a result of the reduction in COVID-19 restrictions, and the Grand Prix next month should  help, as well. City officials confirmed yesterday that the event will move forward as planned and will be held November 19-21. The Grand Prix will follow several activities on the schedule to build up excitement, including the 68th Macau Grand Prix Family Carnival on November 6 and 7 and the 68th Macau Grand Prix Car Show a week later.

According to Macau’s Sports Bureau, “As the epidemic in Macau stabilizes, holding this year’s Grand Prix as scheduled sends a clear message and demonstrates that Macau is a vibrant and safe city to visit. The associated positive effects of the Grand Prix serve to promote the development of different industries, and thereby boost the economy. In addition, the annual Grand Prix will be broadcast to countries and regions in the mainland and overseas so as to positively promote the image of Macau.”

There’s no single sponsor for the Grand Prix races these year; however, all six of Macau’s casinos are participating and are each sponsoring a race. The six events include the SJM Formula 4 Macau Grand Prix, Sands China Macau GT Cup, Galaxy Entertainment Macau Guia Race, Melco Macau Touring Car Cup, MGM Greater Bay Area GT Cup and the Wynn Porsche Carrera Cup Challenge.

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