Macau’s brilliant lights remain bright as the area proudly secures the coveted title of the world’s best gaming destination for the first half of 2023. Macau’s casinos have surpassed all predictions, exceeding even the famed gaming paradise of Nevada, with a remarkable gross gambling revenue (GGR) of approximately $10 billion.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said that Macau’s triumphal development may be ascribed to a stunning average monthly income of almost $2 billion during the first half of this year. This outstanding achievement has vaulted Macau ahead of Nevada’s GGR of $7.5 billion over the same time period.
The remarkable resurgence of Macau’s gambling industry following the pandemic owes much of its success to a surge in visits from mainland China. In July 2023 alone, nearly 1.9 million tourists from China graced Macau’s vibrant streets, approaching the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019 when the region welcomed around two million visitors. Notably, these Chinese tourists constitute a significant majority, accounting for almost 95% of the total visits to Macau.
The landscape of Macau’s gambling scene has seen a shift, with mass market gamblers now at the forefront of the industry’s growth. Previously, high rollers and VIP junkets fueled the region’s gambling success, but now it’s the typical Chinese tourist, wagering between $1,500 and $2,500, who is driving the surge in the mass market and bolstering Macau’s overall revenues.
Macau’s resounding success has even eclipsed the benchmark set by US-based Resorts for their Hong Kong-listed facilities. With the easing of pandemic-related restrictions by the Chinese government, Macau’s gambling recovery has soared to new heights. The $10 billion in revenues generated by Macau now stands head and shoulders above Nevada’s $7.5 billion, underscoring the region’s formidable gaming prowess, especially highlighted by the remarkable $2 billion win recorded in July 2023.
According to the WSJ, US casino owners have had a difficult time operating in Macau’s shadow as the world’s foremost gaming destination. Notably, Sands China and MGM China both recovered from losses in 2022 to achieve $175 million and $105 million profits, respectively. Furthermore, Wynn Macau’s comeback was remarkable, with a profit of $61 million in Q2 2023 after a deficit the previous quarter.
The booming mainstream market, rather than high-stakes VIP gamblers, has powered Macau’s revival. The astonishing increase in earnings can also be ascribed to longer casino closures and pandemic-induced travel restrictions, which prompted mainland Chinese visitors to swarm to Macau and boosted the region’s GDP by 39%, as reported.
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