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Asia round-up: Macau GGR falls for Q1, no IR for Wakayama & more

Mass GGR falls 11% year-on-year in Macau to $2.2bn 

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Mass GGR falls 11% year-on-year in Macau to $2.2bn 

Data from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has revealed an 11% slump in mass GGR for Macau’s first quarter of 2022, compared to the prior-year period.  

GGR stood at MOP17.94bn (US$2.22bn); this is Macau’s lowest total since the third quarter of 2020.  

What’s more, VIP GGR nearly halved in Macau’s casinos, as many affluent gamers continue to stay away from the region with Covid-19 measures continuing to persist across many areas of China.  

The disbandment of Macau’s junket industry may be a key reason for lower VIP visitation numbers. The junket industry collapsed following the high-profile arrests of Suncity’s CEO Alvin Chau and Tak Chun Group’s CEO Levo Chan, among others.  

Low visitation and revenue for March 2022 were not what was hoped for at the start of the year, but the pandemic has once again proved its unpredictability in southeast Asia, which still struggles with vaccination rates and the administration of booster shots.  

Furthermore, Macau posted its worst monthly gross gaming figure since September 2020 in Q1 of 2022, with March besting both January and February as the year’s worst month so far. 

If not for the card game baccarat, things may have been far worse for Macau. Indeed, 60% of all Macau’s GGR for Q1 was made through baccarat; it has acted as a lifeline for China’s Integrated Resort region.   

Were VIP visitation numbers higher, the revenue generated from baccarat would undoubtedly have been much greater. VIP baccarat revenue was down 38% year-on-year, and down 45% from the fourth quarter of 2019.  

Wakayama prefecture to withdraw from IR race in Japan 

Wakayama’s hopes of developing an integrated resort in the region are over after its prefectural assembly voted against plans to build a casino.  

“There was an 11% slump in mass GGR for Macau’s first quarter of 2022, compared to the prior-year period...GGR stood at just MOP$17.94bn (US$2.22bn). This is Macau’s lowest total since the third quarter of 2020” DICJ Figures

Wakayama and its intended operator partner, Clairvest Neem Ventures, will likely abandon the option for re-application, given the short space of time remaining until the final application deadline (28th April 2022). 

Wakayama’s prefectural assembly had displayed reservations over the ability of the Wakayama Government and Clairvest to procure the initial investment funds. The funds required are believed to be in the region of JPY470bn (US$3.7bn).  

Despite assurances provided by the Wakayama Government over the source of funds, it is supposed that many in the prefectural assembly had doubts over how these finances would be delivered.  

Although it had been established that funding details could not be publicly disclosed, Clairvest’s failure to provide a commitment letter from its major financer, Credit Suisse, was an act deemed lacking in transparency. The assembly felt this represented a breach of trust between it and the financiers of Credit Suisse.   

Following Wakayama’s much-anticipated withdrawal from the IR bidding process, the Osaka and Nagasaki prefectures will be the only two regions left looking to develop an integrated resort in their prefectures.  

Missed a big gambling industry story in Asia? Don't worry, Gambling Insider has you covered with our Asia round-up. 

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