Macau Gaming Revenue Nears Pre-Pandemic Levels, Eclipses 2019 Highs for Premium Bettors


Signs of recovery continue to show in Macau, as gross gaming revenue (GGR) from regular bettors edges closer to pre-coronavirus levels, even exceeding 2019 standards in the case of premium bettors. This recovery is most notable as Macau experienced its best performing August since the global pandemic’s onslaught with a GGR of $2.15 billion. The monthly revenue implies a daily gaming rate of 71% of pre-COVID 19 levels, indicating potential opportunities for further growth.

A recent analysis revealed that the mass GGR recovery ranged between 93 to 94 percent of pre-pandemic levels, a stark improvement compared to the preceding months. What’s particularly striking was the 110% rebound rate among premium mass bettors in August, compared to a 75% to 80% rebound of mass market GGR. However, the gaming revenue attributable to VIP bettors still lags, standing at 28% to 29% of 2019 levels.

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Fast-forwarding to 2023, the recovery strength of Macau had proven solid enough for the special administrative region to regain its status as the world’s largest casino center by revenue, surpassing Las Vegas. In the first half of this year alone, the region’s six concessionaires generated a combined GGR of $10 billion, significantly higher than the $7.5 billion collected by Nevada casino operators.

Macau’s winning streak gains further momentum as it has managed to outperform Las Vegas without the significant contributions from VIP bettors. This serves as a silver lining for Macau’s gaming operators as there still remains untapped potential within the VIP segment, crucially timed as 2023 nears its end. However, September GGR is anticipated to slow due to the brief closure of gaming venues caused by Typhoon Saola.

Beyond September, the next driver for Macau’s GGR is expected to be the Golden Week that commences on China’s National Day, October 1. This annual holiday often triggers an increase in visits to Macau and Hong Kong. As much as Golden Week traditionally boosts revenues for Macau’s casinos, predicting the degree of its influence remains challenging until the event itself unfolds, given the typically short booking window of Chinese travelers and gamblers.