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Macau Casinos Experience Worst Month Of 2021

Casinos In The Former Portuguese Colony Won $545 Million In October

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Two of the world’s largest gambling industries are trending in opposite directions. While Las Vegas is experiencing near all-time high levels of gross gaming revenue, Macau casinos are seeing massive declines in revenue.

According to numbers released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, gambling facilities in the former Portuguese colony won $545 from gamblers in October. Those figures represent a 42% year-over-year drop and are the lowest monthly total of this year.

October’s revenue was also a 26% fall from September’s $735 million and an 83% dip from October 2019, before the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.

According to a Bloomberg report, the numbers likely stemmed from restrictions implemented by the government. Macau had a brief spike in COVID-19 cases which prompted government officials to impose a mandatory quarantine requirement for tourists coming to Macau from the Chinese mainland.

The mandatory quarantine wasn’t lifted until Oct. 19 and was in place through the “Golden Week” national holiday that starts at the beginning of October. The restriction is still in place for tourists traveling from Hong Kong.

During Golden Week, which is one of the most popular times to visit Macau, the region only received 8,159 visitors. The tourism numbers were down 95% from post-pandemic October 2020.

The October lull comes as the government is looking into implementing new regulations on Macau’s casino industry, which could further stifle any possible recovery.

In September, regulators proposed new laws that would give the government much more control over the industry, including having government agents monitor the day-to-day operations of every casino. At the time these possible regulations were introduced, stock prices of many gambling companies with exposure to the Macau market tanked.

Those regulations just finished their 45-day consultation period, but the government hasn’t announced a timeline for when and if those new rules will be implemented.

Analysts from JP Morgan, however, said recently that it looks like the Chinese government is becoming less likely to implement these changes.