Macau witnessed a steep decline in its gross gaming revenues that fell by 95 percent year-on-year in August to MOP 1.33 billion ($166.6 M).
Though the region’s gambling activity had been contracting for years, things had not stooped to this low.
New financial reports have shared the latest figures.
Indeed, it is shocking news to see the figures even though casinos have been opened here for months. Let’s find out some details regarding last month’s gambling revenue in Macau.
Macau’s Open Casinos Await Tourists
For years, Macau had been considered the biggest casino market worldwide. Many US-based casino companies own and operate mega casino-resorts here. Macau was one of the most-visited places in Asia for years.
However, things began to deteriorate during the past few years. This territory bore the brunt of the US-China trade war. With the Chinese economy shrinking, trips to Macau and the subsequent gambling activity began to decline.
Though revenues were decreasing, many other projected things would eventually improve. In February, however, things began to deteriorate. The pandemic led the closure of all the Macau casinos for two weeks.
Macau was quicker than any other nation to reopen its casinos. Still, it failed to attract tourism on which its gambling activity relies. Until recently, strict travel restrictions made it almost impossible for tourism to thrive in Macau.
Understandably, the travel ban has taken a toll on the casinos in Macau. Things were never more pessimistic regarding the casino industry in this city as they are now.
Macau’s August Casino Reports Revealed
In the aftermath of the dismal gambling condition in Macau, the authorities have released a revenue report for the month of August.
In fact, the report has exceeded the most pessimistic predictions by experts. Macau’s casino revenue in August fell by 94.5 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
However, some light seems to appear at the end of the tunnel with tourism rates, finally increasing here again.
In the month of July, the city had an average daily visitation rate of around 2387. In August, it increased to 9500.
The Bank of America analyst Billy Ng observes that things are at last about to turn around in Macau. He predicts September will turn out to be a much better month for casinos than August was. He said:
“We predict that Sep GGR will start to though still be down 80 percent YoY (+232% MoM), with visa to Macau already reopened in GD and to be reopened in rest of mainland from Sep 23.”
China is facilitating visitors to Macau. However, it will take some time for enthusiasts to feel comfortable visiting here.
Meanwhile, many companies are campaigning to influence legislation for online gambling in Macau.
Will Macau Ever Legalize Online Gambling?
Undoubtedly, Macau is Asia’s largest gambling destination. Chinese gamblers flock to this city for gambling. It should be noted here that China bans all forms of gambling in its mainland country.
In recent years, China has been cracking down more strictly on illegal gambling operations. Last month, the Chinese government began seizing all illegal online gambling operations between the mainland and Macau. The tight state measures have led many gambling sites, including PokerStars, to halt operations in the area.
Many experts believe it is the right time for Macau to legalize online gambling formally. Some analysts have even compared the condition of Macau with that of Las Vegas. Both casino havens have witnessed their land-based gambling market devastated.
However, Las Vegas managed to keep afloat by earning some revenue through its online industry.
Interestingly, online gambling activity still takes place in Macau through off-shore gambling sites. In simple words, Macau city witnesses its residents enjoying online gambling without itself, allowing them to earn anything from the industry.
By regulating online gaming operations, the city could keep its mega casino industry afloat.
However, Macau’s dismal casino performance in August suggests something needs to be done. The authorities seem determined to attract tourism to the levels they boasted the pandemic struck the world.
It now depends on the lawmakers of the city to review the laws towards internet gambling.