Macau GGR Down in October, But Improvement Expected

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Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) took another hit last month, one of many the casino hub has seen over the past two years. With the return of certain COVID-19 travel restrictions in the region toward the end of September, there was less traffic to feed Macau’s gaming facilities in October. As a result, GGR dropped almost 26% between the two months. Once again, however, an improvement is coming as the restrictions are lifted.

Macau GGR Takes Another Hit

It’s been a rough couple of years for Macau and not even October’s Golden Week was enough to give the city’s casino a boost. New COVID-19 measures were introduced heading into the last week in September, resulting in a reduction in traffic in the first week of last month. That led to a month-over-month drop in GGR of 25.8%, with the six casino concessionaires reporting $544.7 million for October.  They had reported $733.2 million for the previous month.

The COVID-19 countermeasures were reinstated on September 25, just a week before Golden Week was to begin. Macau had increased its vigilance of travelers at that time and the city of Zhuhai on the Chinese mainland implemented a 14-day quarantine for those arriving in the city from Macau. It wasn’t until October 19 that the restrictions were lifted, and it was too late for Macau’s casinos to see any significant improvement in performance.

The October performance marks the latest in a long list of weak returns for Macau. Compared to October 2020, the GGR is 40% less than the $906.57 million reported for that month. However, since the beginning of 2021, Macau has been able to find some relief from the global pandemic. After casinos were closed for part of the first half of 2020, activity finally gained traction in the first half of this year. That led to a GGR of $8.98 billion across the first ten months of 2021, an improvement of 57.3% over the same period last year.

November to Give Macau a Boost

Since the travel restrictions were eased, traffic has started to flow between China and Macau. The number of daily arrivals is increasing, with 28,299 reported on October 26. That was the highest in about a month and, in the last week of September, the daily average has stayed above 25,000. That improvement comes, in part, from social media marketing initiatives launched by the city to promote it as a “safe and quality destination” for mainland residents.

The campaigns, launched by the Macao Government Tourism Office, will prove even more beneficial in the coming weeks. Macau has already announced that the Macau Grand Prix will take place this month as planned, and this should give the city’s casinos, and all local businesses, a boost as 2021 starts to come to an end.

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