Macau’s casino industry continues to recover from last year’s pandemic-related slump

Macau’s casino industry continues to recover from last year’s pandemic-related slump

Macau, the world’s leading casino hub, has reported a jump of more than 13 per cent in aggregated gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the month of March this year, dropping a strong a hint that the casino hub is slowly recovering from last year’s COVID-19 pandemic-related slump.

According to stats released by Macau’s Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau, the enclave’s casino industry reported aggregated GGR of almost $1.04 billion for the month of March. The figure represents a jump of around 13.6 per cent from the month of February.

The monthly figure represents Macau casino industry’s best performance so far this year. The year-to date tally jumped to $2.95 billion. However, the cumulative figure is still some 22.5 per cent below the GGR of $3.81 billion that was reported for the corresponding three-month period of 2020. Compared to the 2019’s GGR of $9.51 billion; it represents a decline of 69 per cent.

Nonetheless, the enclave’s casinos managed to post a figure for the month of March that is represents a jump of 58 per cent from the $656.32 million recorded for the corresponding month of 2020 after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic that forced authorities to issue closure orders for all non-essential businesses, including gaming properties. Even after the reopening of the casinos, operators remained struggling due to various pandemic-induced limits, social distancing protocols, and travel restrictions. The months-long closure of the gaming properties caused hefty losses to the industry, which led to a large number of job cuts and a steep decline in tax revenue.

JP Morgan, one of the leading international brokerages, said that the month of March saw the enclave’s casino market posting a sequential improvement in GGRs. Now, the daily run rate stands at $33.46 million.

In a newly-published statement, JP Morgan said, “In our view, this reflects improving travel sentiment and pent-up demand as well as the modest relaxation of local restrictions in Macau such as the resumption of standing bets or the removal of coronavirus test requirements for casino entry.”

Now, several industry experts expect Macau’s aggregated GGR to improve substantially in April should more COVID-19 pandemic-related impediments be curtailed to pave way for rise in foreign tourism.