Asia Bulletin: Macau marks 33% annual rise in February

Macau recorded gross gaming revenue (GGR) of MOP$10.32bn (US$1.27bn) for February.

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The result marks a 33% increase against February 2022 but 41% lower than February 2019 and also lower than January 2023.

The results show that Macau is recovering from the effects of the pandemic and China’s subsequent zero-Covid policy, which decimated footfall across the region and was further hindered by constant lockdowns to stop the spread of the disease.

Since protests against lockdowns in China last year, the government abandoned most of its zero-Covid policies in place and allowed people to travel freely throughout China, which had a drastically improved impact on Macau.

When restrictions were officially lifted in January, Macau recorded a stellar month – recording 1.4 million visitors, a 101% increase on January 2022. Meanwhile, GGR reached MOP$11.58bn, the highest number since the start of the pandemic – up 83% year-on-year.

Macau’s January figure beat Las Vegas’ own January, which was one of the highest in the US city’s history – reaching $814.2m. All of this shows the pull of Macau immediately after it was able to open up the casino doors fully again.

However, despite the good news in Macau’s strong financial performances since opening up, significant damage may have already been done to its income due to other Asian states taking away much of its gambling customers while it was locked down.

Both Singapore and the Philippines have pulled in much of the business once exclusively held by Macau, with Singapore’s market now fuelled by Macau’s former-VIP guests.

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