During August, the gaming industry in Macau continued to grow in terms of accumulated profits, with gross gaming profits reaching MOP$17.21 billion, which is approximately US$2.12 billion, meaning it increased 3.3% on month-on-month, compared with July’s GGR result of MOP16.66 billion, which was so far the “best monthly performance” since January 2020 when GGR was MOP22.13 billion, the time when COVID-19 pandemic officially started.
Another post-COVID record:
In compliance with information provided by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ): “The August figure was 686% higher-year-on-year and also 3.3% higher than July’s figure of MOP$16.66 billion (US$2.06 billion), making it yet another post-COVID record for Macau’s gaming operators.” In addition, this August data helped calculate gross gaming income for the first 8 months of 2023, which amounted to MOP$114.0 billion, which is roughly US$14.1 billion, meaning that it has increased by 295% compared to the previous year, which further means that the gross gaming income has returned to 57.5% of the profit for the same time in 2019, which was MOP$198.22 billion, which is approximately US$24.5 billion.
What’s more, August’s figures increased by 686.4% compared to August 2022 as mentioned above, which was when Macau still had “Covid-related travel restrictions.” This profits growth for the said month follows an event where “all six concessionaires reported strong volumes in the premium gaming segments during their 2Q23 earnings calls.”
However, speaking on the matter, George Choi, a City analyst, emphasized that the “return of the wales in the resent weeks” was the reason for the August profit growth and 2Q23 profit growth. In addition, Morgan Stanley analysts added: “We expect most Macau concessionaires to return to 80% of pre-COVID EBITDA levels in 3Q23 with MGM China to surge to 120% on the back of its additional gaming table supply.”
The inflow of tourists per day during August is responsible for the increase in profits:
More than 100,000 tourists visited Macau during the first half of August per day, surpassing government’s assumptions, according to what the director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, said in a statement to local media in late August. Moreover, the city’s Statistics and Census Service provided data on tourist visits for July, where it can be seen that during the mentioned month the number of tourists per day was 89,000, that is, almost 2.76 million for the whole month.
In this regard, in a memorandum from mid-August, the Brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd, highlighted “the ramp in visitor volume to the city.” Additionally, Mufan Shi and Selina Li, analysts at DS Kim, added: “The existing data suggested August mass-market GGR was already at a daily run rate of 90 to 95 percent of the pre-Covid level month-to-date. We expect mass GGR to finally hit 100 percent recovery [during October Golden Week].” The aforementioned October Golden Week, a mid-fall festival celebrated according to the lunar calendar, this year starts on September 29 and lasts until October 6, including China’s National Day on October 1. Those holidays weeks are important because they attract an influx of tourists to Macau, which further benefits to the casinos and other tourism establishments.