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Macau Casinos Show Signs Of Recovery In October

Casinos Snapped A Streak Of Six Months With At Least A 90% Drop In Gambling Revenue

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There are signs of recovery in the world’s largest gambling market as Macau casinos snapped its streak of six straight months with at least a 90 percent drop in revenue.

Gambling operators in the former Portuguese colony won the equivalent of $910 million from gamblers in October, according to numbers released from the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau. Those figures represent a 72.5 percent year-over-year fall, which may sound bad for industry, but could be the sign of a recovery in the market.

According to a Bloomberg report, analysts in the region were expecting a 74 percent drop after half a year with at least catastrophic 90 percent declines. Through the first 10 months of 2020, the region has generated $5.7 billion worth of revenue, good for an 81.4 percent decrease from the same time frame in 2019.

Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic is the driving cause of the sharp revenue decline, but Las Vegas Sands Corp, owner of six Macau properties, said they saw a sizable increase in gambling activity throughout the month.

“October was the first time since January that we’ve seen significant real business volume and patronage,” COO Grant Chum told Bloomberg in late October. “The patrons returning first to Macau are the high-quality, high-frequency customers.”

The company is so bullish on the resurgence of Asian gambling markets, that it announced at the end of October that it was exploring options to sell its two Las Vegas Strip casinos, as well as its convention center, in order to focus solely on its Asian properties in Macau and Singapore.

China’s Golden Week, a national holiday in early October that is one of the biggest weeks for Chinese tourism, may have helped fuel the rebound, but tourism numbers were down 84 percent from last year. As the Chinese government continues to loosen travel restrictions stemming from the virus, the rebound will continue.