During October, the gaming industry in Macau continued to grow in terms of accumulated profits, with gross gaming profit (GGR) reaching a 30.9% increase compared to September’s GGR of MOP$19.5 billion, which is approximately US$2.42 billion.
The series of post-COVID records continues:
As for the aforementioned GGR result from last month, aka October, it is higher by 400% compared to October last year, in compliance with the data provided by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ). In addition, while September’s results fluctuated due to natural disasters such as Super Typhoon Saola and severe weather that began to occur since the beginning of the said month, October was not like that at all.
The primary reason for this was the National Day Golden Week holiday, which managed to attract 932.365 guests on an average of 116.545 guests daily, representing 84% compared to the levels from 2019, which managed to significantly improve GGR levels over the past month. Another reason worth mentioning is the famous Chung Yeung Festival holiday which was held recently and managed to attract over 105.000 guests for days in a row.
Moreover, analysts highlighted a notable recovery in the profitable premium mass segment involving a rise in average wagers per punter. In addition, during the first 10 months of 2023, the games’ combined gross income increased by 316% year-over-year to MOP$148.5 billion, which is approximately US$18.4 billion, meaning that it managed to surpass the budget of the government. To put it simply, GGR has returned to 60.2% of MOP$246.7 billion, which is approximately US$30.6 billion, disclosed during the same period in 2019, the period before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gaming income is expected to grow over the next year:
The Government of Macau has predicted that gaming income will reach MOP$216 billion, which is approximately US$26.8 billion, in the coming year and will make sure that it remains the primary source of revenue for the aforementioned jurisdiction.
Since Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng has to present his 2024 Policy Address on November 14th, a legislation about the budget for the upcoming year was officially introduced in the Macau’s Legislative Assembly on November 1. The legislation declares that “with the receding of COVID and the gradual return to normal socio-economic conditions, the number of tourists coming to Macau has increased significantly compared to 2022. With the introduction of more innovative tourism elements to Macau and the further development of the mainland and international visitor source markets, the number of visitors to Macau is expected to continue to rise.” With a profit forecast of MOP$216 billion, it additionally added: “This will serve as the main revenue base for the Macau government in the 2024 financial year.”
Furthermore, according to the aforementioned Government, it projects to generate a consolidated income of MOP$107.1 billion, which is approximately US$13.3 billion, in 2024, with outgoings of MOP$105.9 billion, which is approximately US$13.1 billion, proposing that public finances will recover to surplus. Additionally, according to the CEO, he has formerly showed concern that “Macau would continue to run a deficit in 2024.” In this regard, he stated according to Inside Asian Gaming: “Gross gaming revenues will have to reach MOP$230 billion (US$28.5 billion) to balance government expenditure.”
Since the official start of the said pandemic, the Government has relentlessly aimed to achieve a GGR of MOP$130 billion, which is roughly US$16.1 billion, every year, even though all these targets were not possible as the GGRs hovered in the range of MOP$60.4 billion, (US$7.5 billion), for 2020, MOP$86.8 billion (US$10.8 billion) for 2021, and finally MOP$42.2 billion (US$5.2 billion) for 2022.