Macau’s September casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell by 13.2 percent month-on-month, to MOP14.94 billion (US$1.85 billion), according to a Sunday announcement from the local regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
The figure compared with an August GGR result of MOP17.21 billion, which was the best monthly performance since January 2020, at the very beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, when GGR stood at MOP22.13 billion.
The September tally was up 404.2 percent from a year ago, a period when Covid-related travel restrictions were still in place.
JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd said in a recent note that the casino GGR’s run-rate in Macau was “edging up week-on-week” in September, following a slow start to the month amidst extreme weather.
Typhoon Saola led Macau’s weather bureau to raise its storm signal to Number 10 – the highest warning signal for tropical storms – on September 2. The bad weather led to the temporary closure of the city’s gaming venues for about nine hours as a precautionary measure, and also disrupted transportation to and from Macau.
The latest data took Macau’s GGR for the nine months to September 30 to about MOP128.95 billion, up 305.3 percent from the comparable 2022 period.
A number of investment analysts have suggested that all eyes will now be on the performance during the October Golden Week period, with most expecting Golden Week to print the highest average daily GGR since Macau’s post-Covid full reopening to tourists.
China’s State Council has designated September 29 to October 6 inclusive as the holiday period known as October Golden Week. The period encompasses the lunar-calendar based Mid-Autumn Festival, falling on September 29 this year, and China’s National Day on October 1. Traditionally those holiday seasons are times of peak demand for Macau’s casinos and general tourism facilities.
Analysts at Citigroup said last week that they expected “the highest [post-Covid-19] monthly GGR in October (as high as MOP19.0 billion), driven by the National Day Golden Week”. They forecast Macau GGR to average approximately MOP765 million a day during October 1 to 6, going down to a daily average of MOP575 million for the remainder of the month.
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