Casino industry rebound in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China continues, as the city’s regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), reported Sunday more than 200% rise in gross gaming revenue (GGR) on a sequential monthly basis.
Casinos Slowly Rebounding
The regulator release showed GGR in October was the equivalent of $910.9 million in local currency, up 228% compared to the $276.9 million for the previous month, making October the best month since January when the casino industry in Macau generated $2.77 billion, showing the magnitude of the slump within the sector since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Revenues generated in October contributed to an aggregate for the 10 months ending October 31 2020 to the equivalent of $5.75 billion in local currency, down 81.4% compared to the same 10-month period in 2019.
According to analysts, the increase in October GGR on a sequential monthly basis was down to the decision of the central government to reactivate the individual visit scheme (IVS) effective September 23, which allowed travel from mainland China to the gaming jurisdiction again. The IVS scheme was suspended earlier as part of the local authorities’ efforts to curb any further spread of the virus.
Longer Golden Week Effect Marginal
In general, October is a month that is boosted by the Golden Week, the week which starts October 1 and celebrates the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and usually sees visitations to the SAR jump and the total population of the gambling hub more than doubled with the inflow of punters.
The Golden Week’s effect this year was marginal, though, as Macau saw only a trickle of arrivals and casino floors remained empty. Visitors to Macau for the whole holiday period totaled 156,300 according to the official data, an average of 19,538 visitors per day, a slump of 86% from the Golden Week in 2019, and disappointing results despite this year’s festive period being a day longer.
According to the information on the city regulator’s website, as of September 30, there are 41 casinos in the SAR, operated by 6 gaming companies, Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts, Galaxy Entertainment, SJM Holdings, and Melco Resorts.
The casinos in Macau employ more than 14% of the total workforce in the city, 57,459 full-time employees, according to end of June data from the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC).