Up 29.7% year-over-year

Macau achieves new post-Covid gaming revenue high in May at $2.51B

Reading time 3:12 min

Macau witnessed a substantial increase in casino revenue in May, setting a new post-pandemic high. Driven by the Golden Week holiday and the introduction of new permits for Chinese tourists, gross gaming revenue (GGR) reached MOP 20.19 billion ($2.51 billion) last month, up 29.7% from the prior year. 

For the first five months of the year, revenue amounted to MOP 96.06 billion ($11.9 billion), an increase of 47.9% from last year, as reported by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

The May total has surpassed the previous post-pandemic high of MOP 19.50 billion, first hit in October of 2023 and equaled in March of this year. The month also represents the first time Macau has surpassed MOP 20.00 billion since the early days of the pandemic in January 2020. Before the outbreak of Covid-19, monthly revenue in Macau would regularly, and comfortably, exceed the MOP 20.00 billion figure. 

Throughout the pandemic, measures and restrictions related to COVID-19 impacted the region for several years. However, since these were fully removed in January of 2023, the market has seen significant recovery, with regular double-digit monthly revenue growth

During China's five-day Labor Day holiday, Macau experienced a notable increase in visitors, with daily tourist arrivals up 23.2% year on year, achieving 76% of the 2019 levels, according to a report Saturday by Bloomberg. The city recorded 2.6 million visitors in April, about 76% of pre-pandemic figures, with May’s data expected to be released later in the month.

Despite economic uncertainty, Macau's affluent visitors have continued robust spending. Bloomberg noted the Bloomberg Intelligence index of Macau casino operators rose 4.57% in May, surpassing the Hang Seng Index’s gain of 1.78%. 

Samuel Tong

Samuel Tong, the President of Macau Institute of Management (MIM) said gambling revenue from January to May this year recovered to about 76% of the same period in 2019. Speaking to TDM, Tong attributed the increase to the introduction of 10 new mainland cities for the Individual Visit Scheme to Hong Kong and Macau, as well as other policies.

Tong expects annual gambling revenue will reach MOP 220 billion to MOP 230 billion ($27.3 billion - $28.5 billion). He also said the current passenger structure is like that before 2019, with 70% coming from the mainland and 20% from Hong Kong. To diversify the tourist base, Tong suggested Macau should organize activities such as concerts, sports, conventions, and exhibitions, as well as expand its routes at Macau International Airport to make it easier to travel to neighboring regions. 

Ip Kuai Peng

Professor Ip Kuai Peng, Vice-Rector of the City University of Macau, also expressed optimism about Macau’s economic recovery, saying May gambling revenue was satisfactory and approaching past levels. He emphasized the importance of balancing the development of gaming and non-gaming elements in Macau’s “1+4” moderately diversified development strategy.

With the continued rollout of policies to support Macau’s tourism and diversification efforts, industry experts are cautiously optimistic about the region’s economic outlook. However, they caution more work is needed to reduce Macau's reliance on the gaming sector and broaden its appeal to a wider range of visitors.

Growth across the board

Some of the leading casino brands in the region have also reported significant growth as a result of Macau's recovery. SJM Holdings posted HKD 6.90 billion ($882.3 million) in revenue during the three months to March 31, up 73.0% from last year.

The Grand Lisboa Palace and Grand Lisboa in Macau reported revenue increases of almost HKD 1 billion to HKD 1.4 billion ($127.9 million - $179 million) and HKD 2 billion ($255.7 million), respectively. Adjusted EBITDA during the first quarter was HKD 864 million ($110.4 million), compared with just HKD 31 million ($3.9 million) in the prior period. 

Las Vegas Sands saw revenue rise 39.6% to $2.96 billion in Q1. Operations in the region generated $1.81 billion in revenue, an increase of 41.6% from last year. Meanwhile, Melco Resorts & Entertainment reported a 55.2% year-on-year rise in revenue to $1.11 billion. Melco said each of its Macau properties saw growth, with the City of Dreams venue in Macau the most successful with $550.9 million in revenue.

Furthermore, MGM Resorts International posted record quarterly revenue in China during Q1. Group revenue climbed 13.2% to an all-time high of $4.83 billion, with $1.06 billion of this total coming from MGM China. Lastly, Wynn Resorts posted a 30.8% rise in Q1 revenue to $1.86 billion, driven by growth in Macau. Operations in the region generated $998.6 million in total revenue or 53.6% of total Q1 revenue.

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