Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the full year 2022 fell by 51.4 percent year-on-year. The reduction in revenue in the popular casino destination last year was widely due to travel and other restrictions imposed by the authorities as a consequence of the constantly high number of Covid cases over the year.
The region abandoned the ‘zero-Covid’ policy in December and opened up for visitors from mainland China and abroad but the period was too short to significantly mitigate the low revenue levels seen over the entire year 2022.
2022 GGR closed at $5.26 billion:
The 2022 revenue performance was disclosed on Sunday by the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, or DICJ. According to the regulator, Macau’s GGR was MOP42.20 billion (US$5.26 billion) in 2022, compared to 2021’s aggregate of MOP86.86 billion ($10.83 billion), which represents a 51% downfall on a year-on-year basis.
The year 2022 closed with December’s revenue of MOP 3.48 billion ($430,000). However, the revenue generated in December was 16.1 percent higher than the previous month thus boosting the annual GGR to its final level.
Moves to increase revenue levels:
After reportedly low levels seen in Macau’s revenues over the major part of the year, the authorities decided in November to open gambling facilities and approve a 5% tax relief to operators for attracting foreign visitors to the region during the holiday season. The move targeted the projected 2022 revenue at $4.83 billion at the time to help bring the full-year 2022 revenue value around the projected figure.
As the annual revenue exceeded the level projected in November and hit $5.26 billion, it seems that these measures have been effective, as well as the decision to gradually open the region to foreign visits. Following the data seen on booking websites, the second half of December and the approaching celebrations of the Chinese New Year testify to the rapidly growing interest in visiting the prominent casino destination over the festive season from both mainland China and abroad.
Tough operational circumstances:
Also in December, Macau put up with another wave of rising Covid cases with casinos facing staff shortages and temporary suspensions of operations. The latest wave represented another Covid-related contingency in 2022, accompanied by the uncertainty of the recently conducted allocation of gaming concessions, and the reduction of gaming facilities imposed by the authorities.
Despite the Force Majeure and other tough operational circumstances, Macau concessionaires managed to exceed the projected GGR levels for the full year 2022.
Wheels are turning:
The end of the year 2022 saw the total revenue generated by the major six concessionaires at the level of $5.26 billion. The result is 51 % lower than the year 2022, but still 9% higher than expected for the widely unpredictable year 2022. Therefore casino operators like Sands China have made bonus payments to all of their employees for having kept the wheels turning throughout the year with this year’s prospects looking much brighter in the middle of the holiday season.