Macau’s struggles are far from over. In September, the special administrative region recorded 50% lower gross gaming revenue than it did for the same period last year, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reported. However, there is hope on the horizon as Macau’s GGR shows signs of recovery.
Macau’s Industry Experiences Setbacks
Macau’s gambling industry has been struggling ever since China was struck by COVID-19 outbreaks. The Asian country’s zero-COVID policy greatly reduced the flow of tourists from mainland China and, as a result, devastated the region’s gaming revenues.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Macau was eventually hit by a COVID wave of its own and was forced to temporarily close its casinos. In addition, the region greatly restricted travel, thus stopping foreign visitors from visiting. While Macau eventually opened its borders once again, it still requires visitors to go into a week-long quarantine. As a result of all these hurdles, Macau’s GGR plummeted.
September GGR Lower YOY, Higher MOM
September 2022’s results, for example, were 50% lower than those in September 2021. For reference, the industry recorded around $370 million in GGR this year. This result is more or less in line with the overall 2022 statistics. During the first three quarters of the Year, gaming in Macau earned almost $32 billion, which represents a 53% decline from the same period in 2021.
While September 2022’s results might look concerning at first glance, the industry is showing signs of recovery. Despite being dramatically lower than last year’s results, September’s GGR actually represents a 36% month-on-month increase from August. The sector will not recover overnight but some analysts remain optimistic about the tendencies.
As of now, February was the best month for Macau’s gaming industry and August was the worst. The defining factor, in this case, is the flow of people. According to statistics, there were about 20,000 daily visitors in September. This number is over five times lower than the 108,000 visitors per day in 2019.
Tourism May Improve
Luckily, Macau’s situation may soon improve. Ho Iat-seng, Macau’s incumbent chief executive, recently announced that eVisas and package tours are about to make a return. EVisas and package tours were suspended at the height of the pandemic in 2020 but will be reinstated in November. This will hopefully boost tourism rates.
Speaking of tourism, Cheng Wai Tong, the deputy director of Macau’s Government Tourism Office, said he expects between 20,000 and 25,000 daily visitors during Macau’s Golden Week.