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Macau Gaming Revenue Sees Yet Another 90% Drop In September

Fears Over A Crackdown On Illegal Gambling Puts A Grim Outlook On The Market


Macau’s casinos won $275.59 million in September, marking the sixth straight month with at least a 90 percent year-over-year drop and the 12th consecutive month with a fall of any kind. Analysts were expecting to break this streak, predicting an 85-86 percent tumble.

Gaming operators have been experiencing a serious economic downturn since the spread of coronavirus started in China in February, causing casinos to close for two weeks. Since reopening, the government has implemented visa and travel restrictions that has put a damper on tourism in the former Portuguese colony.

Those restrictions are gradually lessening as China resumed tourist Visas on Sept. 23, but there are rumors that the government will be cracking down on offshore gambling rings, which is causing a rush to withdraw capital from the area, according to a Reuters report.

“This is not millions we are talking about being taken out here, but billions,” said an unnamed casino executive to the news outlet. “We have cash in the bank but with everyone withdrawing, it’s a problem.”

The exodus of cash out of Macau is worrisome because it signals that high-stakes gamblers likely won’t be frequenting the region’s casinos in the immediate future, which spells trouble for any recovery of the gaming market.

The VIP junket sector of the market accounts for roughly 50 percent of all Macau gambling revenue. A junket is a critical aspect of the gambling economy in Macau as they are facilitators to the casinos in the area. They offer free accommodation, travel and other perks, similar to what a casino host would offer in America. Except the junkets work independently from the casino.

Junkets earn a commission from the casino when they bring high rollers to gamble at a property.

Sun City is one of Macau’s largest VIP junkets. Reuters said that hundreds of gamblers began pulling deposits from Sun City over fear that it would be targeted by the Chinese government.

Tags: Macau,   Gambling,   Gambling Revenue,   China,   Casinos