Macau gaming revenue drops to lowest level in 18 months

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Macau’s gaming revenue fell to an 18-month low in March, the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Office reported on Friday.

It was the second month this year that gross gaming revenue was below 2021 levels. The market saw a 6.1% rebound in February, driven mainly by an increase in visits during Chinese New Year celebrations. .

The office reported revenue of $454.7 million (US), down 55.8% from $1.028 billion in March 2021.

For the first quarter of 2022, Macau’s 41 casinos generated $2.201 billion, down 24.8% from the $2.927 billion in the first three months of 2021. In the first quarter of 2019 before the pandemic, casinos of Macau earned more than $9.4 billion in the same three months. .

Ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak under China’s zero-COVID policy limiting domestic and international leisure travel continued to affect tourism in the Chinese enclave. Closures in nearby Zhuhai and Shenzhen have kept potential visitors away from Macau’s casinos and tourist attractions.

Macau’s gambling numbers are particularly important for three Las Vegas companies: Las Vegas Sands Corp., the region’s market leader with six properties, Wynn Resorts Ltd., with three resorts, and MGM Resorts International, which partners with Pansy Ho on two properties.

The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Office said on Thursday that revisions to Macau’s VIP junket operations procedures have been sent to the Macau Legislative Assembly. The amendments, if approved, would settle disputes between players and outline disciplinary action for criminal activity committed by junket agents and their contract associates.

The renewal of concessions and sub-concessions – the licensing of casinos in Macau by the government – is expected by June 26, the current expiry date.

The Legislative Assembly has indicated that a new gaming law will be approved before July and that fitness hearings will take place until the end of the year for license renewal. During their respective fourth-quarter earnings calls, executives of the three Las Vegas companies said they were happy with the license renewal process and planned to continue operating their resorts.

Some Asian analysts predicted that the renewals could revive visits to Macau by the fourth quarter of 2022.

The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family, including Dr. Miriam Adelson, majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Patrick Dumont, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. To follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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