While there were fears that the impact of a lackluster Golden Week holiday would carry on, Macau has started to see an improvement in gross gambling revenue, which doubled as per the latest results, Bernstein Research reported. In the week leading to May 22, a total of MOP100 million ($12.31 million) was spent on gambling or MOP50 million ($6.20 million) more than a week before.
Gross Gambling Revenue Picks Following Golden Week
Bernstein does expect interest from the mainland to remain subdued though as numerous new restrictions are sprouting up and keeping most travelers from China at bay. This should continue to have an impact on gross gaming revenue. China is fixated on maintaining a zero-COVID policy as a way to demonstrate its ability to control the pandemic, which claimed more than one million victims in places such as the United States.
China has been urging citizens not to undertake non-essential travel and has strongly discouraged traveling for recreational purposes such as gambling in the special administrative region. Border patrol has been instructed to speak with travelers and talk them out from traveling for the purposes of gambling.
In fact, some 90,000 have been talked out of leaving the country in order to gamble – this happened over the past month. Macau is naturally interested in continuing to grow its popularity with travelers and gamblers, but it may need to refocus its efforts outside of China and look overseas.
This has been encouraged by local legislation which also discourages the targeting of Chinese nationals from the mainland but welcomes attempts to bring high-value overseas gamblers. Non-resident visitors to Macau are still not allowed, though, but a shift in policies may be on the cards.
International Travel Expected to Return at Some Point
China is prepared to open Macau’s borders to non-residents on the condition they comply with a 14-day quarantine. Understandably, this is not ideal either. But this could be a stepping stone for further relaxation of measures that enable the SAR to pursue more aggressive marketing campaigns overseas.
Meanwhile, the average daily visitor count to Macau remains at 35,000 people and is expected to remain steady in the coming months.