Asia round-up: Macau’s quarter of calamity & anti-gambling Australia

Q3: Melco reports operating loss of $198.5m 

asia round up macau financial

Melco Resorts & Entertainment has posted a 46% drop in total revenue for Q3 2022, generating $241.8m in the three months ending September 2022. 

This is a major decline on the $446.4m for the same period in 2021. 

Melco’s Q3 report revealed more bad news: its adjusted EBITDA was negative $34.9m compared to $31.9m in Q3 2021. 

Operating loss stood at a significant $198.5m, down an additional $16.3m on last year’s loss of $182.2m. 

Melco Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho said: “Our results for the third quarter of 2022 were impacted by the casino closures in July and the travel restrictions imposed across mainland China and Macau. 

"In July, the Macau Government implemented preventative measures against the pandemic and our casinos were closed for 12 days. 

“We are also cautiously optimistic that the granting of e-visas and group visas, which commenced on November 1, 2022, will lead to a gradual increase in visitation.” 

Studio City Q3 gaming revenue drops 75% 

Same place, same story for Melco-owned Studio City. Its gaming revenues were down sharply in Q3 2022, dropping 75% year-on-year.

The Hollywood studio-themed casino resort in Cotai, Macau, generated $20.6m compared to the previous year’s $85m. 

This drop was caused by government-mandated casino closures in Macau, which took place in July. These Covid-19 directives included travel restrictions in both Macau and mainland China, which also contributed to the drop in revenue. 

Rolling chip volume faced an even sharper decline compared to the previous year, dropping more than 91% from $472.2m to $41m. 

The revenue drop can be seen across both slot machines and table games. Mass market table games drop was down 75%, with gaming machine handle down 64%. 

As stated in its report, Studio City expects Covid-19 to continue impacting the resort’s revenue due to travel restrictions, visa restrictions, and quarantine requirements. 

Will Australians ban gambling companies from sponsoring sport?  

A survey conducted by Resolve Strategic has revealed 62% of Australian voters back banning gambling companies from sponsoring professional sports. 

The survey included 1,611 eligible voters and took place over the course of almost one week. 

Of these voters, only 27% share the same sentiment when it comes to banning coal, oil and gas companies from sponsoring sports too.  

Meanwhile, 38% of voters want to ban alcohol companies from sponsoring professional sports, while 45% think beer and spirit producers should be allowed as sponsors. 

Tim Costello, Chief Advocate for the Alliance of Gambling Reform says that sponsoring sports has allowed gambling companies to grow an appeal to children.

He said: “The damage is that children’s minds are captured, and they are being gingered up to be gamblers, and many of them will become problem gamblers.” 

This is backed up by survey voters. Only 25% of voters think gambling and betting companies should be allowed to sponsor sports, 62% are against it, and 14% have not decided upon the matter yet. 

These anti-gambling advertising beliefs are so, despite the industry generating $6.6bn in state and federal tax between 2018-2019.  

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