Macau was one of the first cities outside China to start a gradual tourism lockdown in January 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Although critical to Macau’s economy, tourism essentially ceased in March 2020 as it closed its borders to regional and foreign arrivals.
What’s happened since then, and is there a future for this major resort city and a top destination for gambling tourism? Let’s fill you in on the details.
Current Figures for Macau and Its Casinos
The economic recovery has been going on for several months now, and new reports show that the region earned a gross gaming revenue of MOP$8.4 billion in April. This is equivalent to $1.05 billion in USD. Compared to March earnings, this was a 1.1% increase.
It is said with guarded optimism, but it looks like Macau is heading in the right direction with its post-COVID-19 recovery.
Gross gaming revenue total for April was an increase month on month but still lower than the pre-pandemic totals in April 2019. They are, however, the highest seen since January of last year and can be considered a significant indication that the recovery process is well on its way.
So far this year, Macau has earned MOP$32 billion in gross gaming revenue. Compared to 2020, this is an increase of 2.6%.
This revenue increase comes shortly after the local Tourism Office provided the tourist numbers. According to them, April 16 saw the highest single daily visitor total in 15 months. Just over 34,000 people traveled to Macau that day.
This visitor’s total breaks the previous high total from March 26, of 32,467. The trend seems to be moving slowly upwards, which is a positive sign that visitors are starting to travel more, and Macau is a top destination once again.
Macau’s casino industry has seen weekly improvement, which is a positive indication that the industry is continuing to recover.JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd conducted a review and estimated that the region hit a new daily high of MOP$300 million ($37.5m).
This is one of the highest readings from a non-holiday post-COVID that has been seen as of yet. It was pointed out that the increase is due, in part, to favorable VIP luck.
JP Morgan’s analysts say that consumer demand in Macau is on the road to recovery and is increasing at a comfortable rate. They estimated that the first 18 days of April saw gross gaming revenues of MOP$5.5 billion, slightly higher than recent month’s daily intake.
JP Morgan isn’t the only financial analyzer spreading the good news about Macau. Sanford C. Berstein Ltd is also reporting a positive change in the fortunes of Macau.
More Growth Expected for May
It’s expected that May will be an even better month for casinos in Macau. Things have already gotten off to a good start as the month began with the May Day Golden Week. May 1 marks Labor Day in China, and the country’s State Council designated May 1-5 as the official Labor Day holiday period.
This is important for Macau because it relies heavily on China as a feeder for its gaming market. Travel restrictions between mainland China and the city are now significantly reduced, which means a substantial increase in casino activity is expected.
According to Ambrose So Shu Fai, the vice chairman and CEO of SJM Holdings, the Labor Day vacation period could mean as much as $50 million in daily gross gaming revenue for Macau. This is a much lower figure than in previous years, but it’s a definite step in the right direction for the city.
Statistics released show more than 44,000 arrivals, which is the highest number since before the pandemic began.
The city of Macau has experienced some significant gains this year, and future months are looking even brighter.