Macau Casinos Positive April Performance: YoY 25% Increase

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Macau Casinos Positive April Performance: YoY 25% Increase
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The over 40 casino locations in the gambling hotspot of Macau had an impressive April as their aggregated gross gaming revenues increased by almost 26% year-on-year to top $2.3 billion.

This performance, publicized by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau regulator, surpassed market expectations and is indicative of a sector continuing to improve following the dark days of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The April result was only 4.9% lower than March’s figure of well beyond $2.4 billion, which itself represented the enclave’s highest combined monthly tally since January of 2020.

Celebrated City

Known as the ‘Las Vegas of the East’ - Macau is home to some of the planet’s largest and most luxurious gambling-friendly properties, including the 216-room Altira Macau from Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited as well as MGM Resorts International’s 35-story MGM Macau. 

In fact, the 3,000-room Venetian Macao venue run by the Sands China Limited subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corporation is the world’s largest and features a 550,000 sq ft casino offering a selection of approximately 3,400 slots alongside around 800 gaming tables.

However, casinos in the city of almost 700,000 people were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with authorities even ordering the facilities to completely shut their doors for lengthy periods in 2020 and 2022. 

The ensuing months have witnessed a slow but steady rise in aggregated gross gaming revenues owing to increased rates of international tourism and improved consumer confidence.

Optimistic Outlook

Indicative of this ever-improving state, the about $9.4 billion in aggregated gross gaming revenues racked up by Macau’s casinos during the first four months of 2024 equated to a swell of 53.7% year-on-year while also being nearly 271% above the tally for the same period in 2021 of just $2.6 billion. 

Should such a trend continue, the former Portuguese enclave could finish the year with combined gambling receipts in the region of $35 billion, which would be the highest figure since pre-pandemic 2019.

The five-day Labor Day holiday this month could be even more beneficial for Macau's casinos as thousands of additional Chinese visitors may cross the border to potentially enjoy one of the city's numerous gambling floors. 

The GGR Asia reported that local authorities expect this period, which began on Wednesday, to see some 130,000 more mainland visitors travel into the city every day.

Reserved Resurgence

Nevertheless, obstacles still remain, as local tourism officials are said to have counted 2.7 million combined Chinese visitor arrivals for March, which was 20% lower than for the same month in 2019. 

The number of mainlanders who entered Macau for the Lunar New Year celebrations in February was similarly 18% down on pre-pandemic times, while average daily hotel room rates currently stand over 20% weaker.

Despite all this, Macau could well get a much-needed boost from Beijing’s recent decision to extend the validity of mainland business visas to 14 days and allow Chinese travelers to secure multiple entry travel permits. 

Permits will be granted so long as they are for attending exhibitions, seeking medical care, participating in arts and entertainment activities or joining specific tour groups.