Macau: Casinos report meagre earnings for November, China’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy to blame

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The total gross gaming revenue (GGR) earned by casinos in Macau in the month of November was only around US$375.9 million according to reports.

With the new figures in, the estimated decline is about 56% year-on-year for November. The decline in revenue proves that China’s zero-COVID policy will continue to prove as the major barrier for gaming business recovery.

According to Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the region’s six commercial casino operators are still having trouble amidst the harsh COVID-19 regulations.

Despite the fact that just a small portion of those who had the coronavirus during the most recent outbreak in China are showing symptoms, the Communist Party has ordered lockdowns in major cities in an effort to reduce the rapidly rising case counts.

All citizens of Macau were required to present themselves for daily COVID-19 testing until at least Friday, December 2. Despite the economic damage the current policy measures are causing to the region, Macau is still complying to Beijing’s zero-COVID policy.

Only US$375.9 million in casino income was generated in Macau in November 2022, which is a 23% decrease from October 2022. It’s also an 87% decrease, or around US$2.47 billion, from the US$2.85 billion the six casino operators earned in November 2019 before the pandemic.

“Through the 11 months, the GGR of Macau casinos for 2022 is less than one-third of what the local government predicted prior to the campaign,” said Andrew Scott, Founder of Inside Asian Gaming.

“While other major gaming markets around the world have quickly rebounded from the pandemic, the zero-COVID policy has continued to keep Macau quiet nearly three years after the coronavirus became a global worry,” he added.

On a year-to-date basis, the entire revenue from casinos in 2022 in Macau is over US$4.8 billion so far. It is about 51% less than what it was at the same time in the previous year. While comparing against revenue from January to November in 2019, the amount is 86% lower.