Macau Casinos Record Second Consecutive Revenue Gain, Gaming Win Totals $1.04B

Macau Casinos Record Second Consecutive Revenue Gain, Gaming Win Totals .04B

The Macau gaming industry, the world’s richest, posted its second consecutive monthly revenue gain. Casinos won MOP8.31 billion (US$1.04 billion) in March, a 58 percent year-over-year increase.

Macau casinos March revenue GGR
Macau casinos March revenue GGR
Pedestrians outside Studio City on the Cotai Strip are seen. Macau casinos welcomed back visitors last month, and won more than $1 billion of their gambling money. (Image: Studio City)

March 2020 was a favorable comparison. Travel to the Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR) was halted at this time last year. Currently, all mainland China residents, as well as people from Hong Kong and Taiwan, can enter into the casino center. 

Mass gross gaming revenue (GGR), analysts say, recovered to roughly 40 percent of its pre-pandemic level. Experts also believe the second half of March was better than the first.

We think the second half of the month was better than the first half of the month, so the full month gaming results likely understates the degree of recovery,” explained Joe Greff, gaming analyst at JP Morgan. 

Last month was Macau’s best performance since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite signs of life from the March 2021 revenue report, the $1.04 billion haul is still nearly 70 percent lower than what the market pulled in during March of 2019. 

Stocks Receive Bump

There’s a growing sense of global optimism regarding the world moving closer to life after the pandemic. The World Bank is forecasting that global activity will expand four percent in 2021.

“Global growth is expected to strengthen over the forecast horizon as pandemic-related disruptions fade and as vaccination continues,” the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report stated. “In emerging market and developing economies, the recovery will be uneven, with a strong rebound in China and softer-than-expected growth across most other economies as the pandemic’s lingering effects continue to weigh on consumption and investment.”

With optimistic economic forecasts for China, and Macau’s March GGR numbers hinting at an impending recovery, shares of the US-traded casino giants invested in the region trended higher in Thursday trading. 

April 1 Midday Trading

  • Las Vegas Sands +1.75 percent
  • MGM Resorts +2.8 percent
  • Wynn Resorts +1.72 percent
  • Melco Resorts +1.75 percent

Golden Week Ahead

UBS said this week in a note that it expects much easier travel protocols into Macau for China’s May Day festivities. The May 1 Labor Day holiday falls on a Saturday this year, and UBS believes travelers will not be subjected to the same strict entry procedures as they were during the February Chinese New Year.

Also known as the Spring Festival, the weeklong holiday was largely canned in 2021 due to another wave of new COVID-19 cases on the mainland. But Macau has largely stayed free of the coronavirus, prompting speculation that the enclave will be open for Labor Day. 

Bernstein’s gaming analytical team Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu, and Louis Li are expecting visitors to return in the coming months. 

“China has eased travel restrictions as the Jan-Feb COVID spike has come under control and Macau visitation has seen some increase,” a Bernstein note explained. “We expect visitation and GGR to slowly improve.”

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