In August, Macau saw a considerable drop in gambling revenue. According to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the Las Vegas of Asia only won $554.5 million in August.
Though this is an increase of 234% over the last, this is unfortunately not a useful metric considering the state of the market a year ago in the midst of the pandemic. Further, this gross gaming revenue is nearly half July’s take.
Unfortunately, it seems the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to take its toll on Macau as the spread of the Delta variant is seen as the most likely explanation for this sudden drop in revenue. GGR Asia’s analysts specifically credit the measures China’s government has taken to attempt to prevent the virus from spreading.
During the majority of August, the government reinstituted measures that were used frequently during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, including restrictions on travel in and out of the region. This clearly poses a considerable problem to a market and region so dependent on tourism.
Tourists that traveled from areas such as Taiwan or Hong Kong would be forced into quarantine in order to visit. Those attempting to come from the mainland needed to provide a negative test result. These mandates were instituted after four cases were discovered in the region at the start of August, which was the first in a year and a half. Fortunately, no more have appeared since then.
Though the virus now seems to be under control in Macau, the restrictions imposed by this outbreak resulted in a considerable drop in visitors and the worst revenue for the city this year. Luckily, the fact no new cases popped up means that the city is expecting a quick rebound, and with one of China’s biggest holidays, Golden Week coming up, revenue is likely to jump.
So far this year, the city’s gaming operators have earned $7.7 billion in reported revenue. For those not familiar with the “Vegas of China,” these numbers are far smaller than what the city normally pulls in. Though smaller than Las Vegas, Macau typically earns much more than its American cousin and, by this point in the year in 2019, pulled in $24.75 billion.
Compared to the approximately $6.5 billion Las Vegas casinos raked in in 2019, it’s easy to see why some people regard Macau as the world’s gaming capital. For those looking to visit and enjoy some international gaming, luckily, things should be back to normal in the city soon.