Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) shrank 79.3 percent year-on-year in calendar year 2020, amid the disruption to travel and the economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The data was released on Friday by the local regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, a body also known as DICJ.
Calendar-year GGR was approximately MOP60.44 billion (US$7.57 billion), compared to MOP292.46 billion for 2019, which had been a modest 3.4-percent decline on 2018.
The year 2020 closed with December GGR down 65.8 percent from a year earlier – the lowest monthly rate of year-on-year decline since January.
The December tally was just under MOP7.82 billion. The December figure was up 15.9 percent compared with the previous month.
Fourth-quarter data on the relative contribution to Macau GGR from the VIP segment versus the mass segment won’t be available until a later date.
From September 23, China’s Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) exit visa system was fully reinstated for mainland residents wishing to visit Macau as independent travellers. The return of IVS coincided with some improvement in Macau tourism numbers. The mainland is currently the only place to have a travel bubble with Macau that is mostly-based on a quarantine-free approach.
In a Tuesday note, JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd said investors in Macau gaming stocks should not view too enthusiastically the news that the daily average of Macau visitors during the December 23 to 27 Christmas season was greater than the daily average in either November or October.
Macau visitor volumes had “shown little” in the way of positive correlation with the city’s casino GGR in the past, stated the institution.
“December could mark the first month since April that fails to deliver month-on-month improvement” in visitor volume to Macau, said analysts DS Kim and Derek Choi.
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Alvin Chau Cheok Wa
Chief executive of privately-held VIP junket business Suncity Group