Although Las Vegas is often considered the gambling capital of the world, the betting and gaming industry of Macau is just as impressive, turning over huge profits every year.
However, like many gambling sectors around the world, the market in Macau has been hard hit by the financial pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as by some recently announced regulatory changes.
Overall, all six of Macau’s major casino resorts reported a decline mass table wins – likely due to an absence of customers due to COVID-19 – with Sands recording the largest drop of 68%, followed by Sim at 67%, Galaxy and Macao at 61%, Melco at 59% and Wynn at 49%.
To put these figures into perspective, Melco experienced mass table wins of $340 million in the first quarter of 2021, as opposed to $700 million during Q1 2021.
However, this is still an improvement on the Q1 2020 and Q4 2020 figures of $310 million and $322 million, suggesting that a bounce back from the pandemic is occurring.
Additionally, four of the six casinos reported revenue growth in the fourth quarter of last year, with Sim leading the way at 9%, followed by Melco at 5%, and Galaxy and Macao at 1% each, whilst Wynn and MGM experienced losses of 7% and 5% respectively.
Moving on to examining different metrics, a drop in slot wins again points to the absence of customers as a key factor, with Melco slot wins dropping from $92 million in Q1 2019 to $44 million in Q1 2021, whilst Sands saw its slot winnings decrease to $40 million from $154 million.
The number of VIP wins also demonstrated a significant decline, ranging from a 73% decrease for Sands – the lowest of the six figures – to an 88% drop for Sim, representing the highest number.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns and restrictions will have played a key role in this, many figures in the gambling industry in Macau have voiced concern at the increased use of digital currency by the central government in Beijing, which many fear could make the city’s traditional junket system obsolete.
Source – Inside Asian Gaming YouTube Channel