Macau’s Gaming Revenue Soars, Surpassing Pre-Pandemic Levels


Reassuring evidence of Macau’s economic recuperation is manifested in the growing gross gaming revenue (GGR), gleaned predominantly from regular gamblers, reaching asymptotically to the pre-pandemic rates, even as recent data indicate that numbers tied to premium gamblers have already surpassed 2019 figures.

August, delineated by the striking $2.15 billion GGR intake, emerged as the most profitable month for this gaming hotbed since the onset of the worldwide health catastrophe, culminating in a daily revenue rate constituting 71% of what was procured before COVID-19. This unequivocally reflects potential arenas for further expansion.

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Analysts from JPMorgan reveal that the mass GGR demonstrated a substantial recovery, scaling back to 93 to 94% of pre-virus levels. This marked an increase from the high 80’s percentage in the second quarter and low 90’s percentage in July.

During August, it was observed that the GGR rebound rate for bettors belonging to the premium mass category skyrocketed to an impressive 110% of pre-pandemic levels, whereas regular mass market GGR stabilized at 75% to 80% of 2019 peaks. The gaming profit credited to VIP bettors hovered around 28% to 29% of 2019 yields, as stated by the banking giant.

The year 2023 sees the robust recovery of Macau’s economy as it clinches back its title as the world’s largest revenue-generating casino hub, surpassing Las Vegas.

During this year’s first half, Macau’s six operators managed to collectively generate a GGR tally of $10 billion, giving them a significant edge over Nevada’s casino operators, who could only amass $7.5 billion. It is widely anticipated that the complete return to pre-pandemic revenue levels will be achieved by the coming year, which further implies that Macau is ready to widen its GGR lead over Las Vegas. Importantly, this is being achieved without any substantial assistance from VIP contributors.

This generous leeway for eventual VIP recovery is seen as a positive development for Macau operators. This could prove significant especially towards the closure of 2023, as September’s GGR could potentially dip due to a temporary foreclosure of gaming venues triggered by Typhoon Saola.

The impending Golden Week, commencing on October 1, is being mooted as the next major catalyst for Macau’s GGR. This week-long holiday, inaugurated on China’s National Day, usually causes a surge in visitor influx to Macau and Hong Kong. Golden Week often proves to be a critical time for Macau’s casinos, however, predicting the exact scale of the related economic boom remains uncertain until the holiday actually sets in.