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Macau casinos equal post-pandemic revenue record in March

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Gambling revenue in Macau reached MOP19.50bn (£1.02bn/€2.25bn/$2.42bn) in March, the joint highest monthly total since before the pandemic.

Revenue was 53.1% higher than March last year and 5.4% ahead of MOP18.49 in Macau in February. The figure also equalled the post-pandemic high of MOP19.50bn that was posted in October 2023.

While this is good news for the region, Macau’s casinos remain some way behind pre-Covid levels. Before the pandemic started, the Special Administrative Region would regularly produce monthly revenue in the mid MOP20.00bn range. 

Revenue has not exceeded MOP20.00bn since January 2020, shortly before the pandemic started and restrictions were imposed.

Macau revenue tops MOP57.33bn in Q1

Looking at the year to date, revenue in the first three months of 2024 reached MOP57.33bn. This is 65.5% ahead of MOP34.64bn at the same point in 2023. 

It is also comfortably more than the MOP42.40bn generated in all of 2022. Full-year revenue for 2023 amounted to MOP183.1bn – a 333.8% year-on-year increase.

Macau has been free of pandemic-related restrictions since January 2023 after China ended its zero-Covid policy.

Ongoing recovery 

This post-pandemic recovery is likely to continue in 2024. Last month, Fitch Ratings affirmed Macau’s AA long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR), predicting the region’s gaming industry to recover to nearly 80% of pre-pandemic levels in 2024.

Macau casino industry will recover to 80% of pre-pandemic levels in 2024 according to fitch ratings

Fitch also gave Macau a “stable” outlook as the region’s economy continues to rebound from the pandemic.

Gross gaming revenue is forecast to be around 79.5% of 2019 levels in 2024, compared to 62.6% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023. Fitch is predicting revenue to be 7.6% higher than assumed in the budget.

Operators benefitting from removal of restrictions

Several leading Macau casino operators said the decision to remove pandemic measures helped their performances in 2023. 

Among these brands is Galaxy Entertainment Group, which reported a 211.0% increase in revenue to HKD35.68bn. This, it said, was driven by the full reopening of the Macau market. Revenue at the Galaxy Macau alone rocketed 274.3% year-on-year in 2023, with gaming revenue here up 312.1%.

Elsewhere, Wynn Resorts also said that this reopening boosted the business during 2023. Operations in Macau accounted for $3.10bn of all revenue up 329.7% year-on-year. Group revenue was 73.9% higher at $6.53bn. 

Furthermore, Fitch pointed to Macau’s “strong rebound” after the pandemic in predicting a positive financial outlook for Wynn in the longer term.

Also benefitting was MGM Resorts International, which reported a 23.7% rise in revenue to $16.20bn for 2023. MGM noted significant growth in Macau, with revenue rocketing 368.1% to $3.15bn.

Last week, MGM CEO and president Bill Hornbuckle attended the China Development Forum alongside a number of leading US executives to discuss the country’s relationship with China. 

“MGM Resorts International has been proud of our role in supporting US-China relations through increased bilateral travel and tourism,” Hornbuckle said in a LinkedIn post. “I was honoured to be part of the meeting convened by President Xi to discuss how to use these ties to strengthen the US-China relationship.”

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