Visitor arrivals to Macau rose 11 percent year on year in October to 2.65 million, said the city’s Statistics and Census Service on Monday.
Those coming from mainland China increased by 20.5 percent year-on-year during the month.
That jump doesn’t seem to have been reflected in mass-market casino play. In October, mass-market gross gaming revenue (GGR) dropped about 8 percent year-on-year, according to unofficial industry returns quoted by investment analysts.
GGR market-wide in Macau dropped by 23 percent year-on-year in October according to data from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Analysts said that result was mainly due to a sharp fall in VIP chip roll.
In previous months, mass market gambling had been growing year-on-year even as VIP gambling was retreating in the face of China’s corruption crackdown.
The statistics service said October’s visitor numbers were supported by the National Day holiday and its accompanying ‘Golden Week’ period when many Chinese factories close and workers take an extended break. It said the Chung Yeung festival on October 2 was also a contributory factor to the strong visitor numbers.
The bureau added that 43 percent of the 1.82 million mainland visitors during the period were from neighbouring Guangdong province.
Mainland visitors travelling under the Individual Visit Scheme rose by 18 percent, to 798,110. Visitors from South Korea (45,119) and Japan (21,889) increased by 17 percent and 2 percent respectively, while those from Hong Kong (508,710) and Taiwan (79,057) decreased by 6 percent and 11 percent.
The numbers of long-haul visitors from the United States (15,449), Australia (9,112), Canada (6,656) and the United Kingdom (5,838) all registered year-on-year declines.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China