Macau, the most prominent gaming hub of China, is experiencing a revival of its gaming sector. In the first half of the current year, Macau’s six casino operators collectively amassed a gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $10 billion, surpassing the $7.5 billion achieved by Nevada’s casinos
Macau, the most prominent gaming hub of China, is experiencing a revival of its gaming sector. In the first half of the current year, Macau’s six casino operators collectively amassed a gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $10 billion, surpassing the $7.5 billion achieved by Nevada’s casinos, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Macau held the distinction of being the world’s leading casino revenue center, largely due to its proximity to China and the population’s affinity for gambling. This status was relinquished in light of the global health crisis.
In 2020, Macau’s gaming establishments were shuttered for a fortnight, with optimism for a swift return to normalcy. However, the Chinese Communist Party only lifted the nation’s coronavirus protocols in January 2023. These stringent regulations included travel restrictions that complicated visits to Macau.
As a result of these measures, the special administrative region (SAR) ceded its title of the “world’s top casino center” to Las Vegas. During much of the pandemic, Nevada’s gaming revenue surpassed Macau’s, led by the vibrant gambling scene of Sin City.
The resurgence of Macau’s gaming industry in 2023 is poised to exceed earlier achievements. Analysts predict that the SAR’s GGR for this year will not reach 100% of 2019 levels, which suggests ample room for expansion.
Macau’s Potential to Solidify Lead Over Las Vegas
Anticipation is building for a return to pre-pandemic revenue figures next year, a trend that could bolster Macau’s leadership in terms of GGR compared to Las Vegas. Notably, Macau’s remarkable GGR performance relative to Las Vegas has been accomplished without substantial contributions from high-stakes players.
Macau’s junket sector, responsible for bringing in high-rolling gamblers, is a mere shadow of its former self, bearing little resemblance to the robust days of the past decade. This time, it’s the mass-market and premium-mass players who are taking center stage.
The Journal stated, “While high rollers are fewer in number than during Macau’s heyday a decade ago, even low-end gamblers typically bet more than $1,500 at the tables per hour, and higher-end, mass-market players lose on average more than $2,500 a day,” citing insights from industry analysts.
Citi’s recent Macau table survey unveiled a 5% rise in average table game wagers among premium mass players this month.
Resurgence of High Rollers in Macau
Las Vegas boasts a fair share of high rollers, yet in this numerical contest, China holds the advantage, providing favorable prospects for Macau’s operators. The promising news is that signs are emerging of the gradual return of high-stakes gamblers to the SAR.
The Citi survey revealed that VIPs, those who place substantial bets averaging around $13,000 per hand, exhibited a modest increase in their visits to Macau this month.
Citing bank observations, “The data that we gathered before COVID showed similar month-on-month declines in wager per player in 2018 and 2019… We believe this seasonal trend is attributable to the fact that the visitation-strong month of August is also a month when the more casual, less keen players show up.” As Macau’s gaming industry forges ahead, it appears the tides may be turning, indicating a potential shift in fortunes for this iconic gaming destination.
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Born and raised in Singapore, Jeanette developed a passion for gambling at an early age. Intrigued by the dynamics of casinos and the allure of games, she immersed herself in studying various gambling strategies and techniques. Her dedication and commitment to understanding the intricacies of online casinos led her to become a prominent figure in the industry.