Macau Experiences Remarkable Gaming Growth, Yet Pre-Pandemic Heights Remain Elusive

Despite the roller-coaster nature of its recovery, Macau’s gaming sector experienced a significant boost with an impressive 686% year-on-year growth. The lifting of the restrictive zero-COVID policy in China has rejuvenated the industry, leading to these positive numbers.

In terms of tangible figures, the month of August saw Macau raking in a solid $2.13 billion. This figure, although promising, is still not up to par with the region’s pre-COVID heights. Specifically, the earnings of August 2023 were 29% shy of the numbers from August 2019.

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Contrastingly, the cumulative revenue for the year so far stands at $14.11 billion, a staggering increase from the $3.58 billion during the same span in 2022. However, this August’s growth pales in comparison to the massive 4,083% surge seen in July 2023.

Peeking into June 2023’s data, Macau amassed revenues worth $1.89 billion, achieving 54% of the revenue figures before the pandemic hit. While the zero-COVID strategy has been discarded, its ripple effects still resonate in the region. Yet, June managed to lure many high-rollers back to Macau.

Forecasting Macau’s trajectory is tricky given the varying pace of recovery. While the current trend shows a commendable rebound from the depths of the pandemic, only time will tell if the region can surpass its previous highs. Amidst the crisis, Macau’s concessionaires exhibited faith in the region, channeling loans to their local counterparts.

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Furthermore, Macau’s recent clampdown on junket operators has seen their numbers dwindle. Following the apprehension and consequent sentencing of Suncity’s ex-CEO, Alvin Chau, the count of junkets has shrunk from over 200 a decade ago to approximately 30 in 2023.

As per Hubert Wang, MGM China’s president and COO, the VIP segment in Macau contributes about 15% to the total revenues. Within this, junkets play a part in 5% or less. He further highlighted that the revenue generated by these junket operators forms a mere 3% of MGM China’s profits.

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