Asia bulletin: Macau monthly GGR overtakes Nevada’s, highest since January 2020

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau reached MOP$11.58bn (US$1.43bn) for January, its highest monthly total for three years, since before the Covid-19 pandemic.  

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The amount is up 83% year-on-year, and even exceeds the monthly revenue made in Las Vegas for December 2022 – $1.31bn. This was one of Las Vegas’s highest-ever monthly revenue totals and also represented a record month for the Las Vegas Strip specifically, which generated $814.2m. 

Although Macau was accustomed to exceeding Las Vegas’ revenue figures before the pandemic, in recent times it has well and truly played second fiddle to America's home of gambling.

Now that it has once again surpassed the success of the Silver State, Gambling Insider asks, is Macau finally on the way back? 

It may have some way to go to reach the height of its revenue-making magic of 2019. January 2019 alone saw Macau generate MOP$22.84bn, almost double what it has achieved this January.  

However, the well-documented relaxation of almost all Covid-19 measures across China, let alone Macau, means the region now has the means to try and generate similar revenue amounts to pre-pandemic figures.  

The cessation of lockdown measures alone has been enough to almost double Macau’s January revenue year-on-year.  

Of course, healthy figures for January 2023 have been helped by the Chinese New Year festivities, with many citizens from mainland China flocking to Macau after three years of lockdown measures. 

As such, it remains to be seen if these numbers can be maintained month-on-month throughout the year – although the initial signs look promising. 

One thing Macau doesn’t have now that it did pre-pandemic is a thriving VIP market. Changes to the region’s gaming laws and the downfall of major junkets (businesses that traffic VIPs to the region) such as Suncity Group – means many VIPs are going elsewhere – with Singapore and the Philippines now choice destinations.  

How Macau will eventually cope with a reduced VIP market is yet to be seen, but will surely become apparent as 2023 unfolds. 

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22 March, 2023

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