Christmas delivers gifts to Macau casinos with a strong visit


Published on: December 30, 2023 at 02:11 h.

Last updated on: 29 December 2023 at 06:12 h.

Christmas is not a major holiday in China, but Macau, one of the People’s Republic’s two special administrative regions, was nonetheless crowded on December 25 and the days surrounding it.

Christmas macau gaming revenue china
Travelers in Macau take photos with the city’s Christmas tree on December 23, 2023. The Christmas holidays ushered in about 456,000 travelers to China’s special administrative region where casinos are allowed. (picture: South China Morning Newspaper)

Hotel rooms in the enclave were approximately 91% occupied between December 23 and 26, the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) said in an update on Wednesday.

Macau has about 45,700 hotel rooms. The city’s casinos account for the vast majority of rental housing.

The 90.8% occupancy rate represents a 2.7% increase over the same three-night period in 2022. During the four days in question, the Macau Department of Statistics and Census said the area counted “more than 456,000” visitors arriving, or about 114,000 visitors per day.

The Chinese government does not encourage the celebration of religious holidays, especially Christian ones. However, the People’s Republic recognizes five official religions – Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism, and Catholicism. Buddhism is the most popular, with an estimated 185 million to 250 million people practicing Buddhism.

Since Macau and Hong Kong operate under a “one country, two systems” policy arrangement that gives special administrative regions little governance independence from Beijing, the two regions are more popular Christmas destinations than many mainland cities.

Hoffman analyst Ma Ho Man explained that Macau and Hong Kong have a stronger Christmas mood, which is attractive as a destination for mainland Chinese visitors.

Hong Kong is also a major exporter for Macau during the Christmas period, Ma said.

Macau recovery

2023 marked the beginning of Macau’s recovery from Covid-19, more than four years after the coronavirus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has maintained his controversial “zero Covid” response strategy, which has faced a wave of criticism from foreign leaders. After widespread protests against the policy that imposed sporadic lockdowns when new clusters of cases were detected, Xi finally lifted the directive in early December 2022.

During the 11 months of 2023, Macau’s six commercial casino operators have jointly won more than $20.4 billion from gamblers. While this is a 325% increase year-over-year compared to the same period in 2022, game wins represented approximately 61% of total market gross revenue for 2019 during the January-November period.

Market watchers at JPMorgan, who focus on Macau’s gaming market, expect a $2.11 billion win in December. If achieved, the total gross for all of 2023 would come in at about $22.51 billion — or about 62% of 2019’s win, which totaled $36.3 billion.

Nearly 5.7 million visitors came through Macau’s border gates in 2022. As of November 2023, visits totaled nearly 25.3 million travelers.

Team play is in full force

JPMorgan’s note on Macau’s December GGR outlook included the revelation that group play has returned to 2019 levels. The revenue shortfall is largely because VIP groups are no longer bringing hordes of VIPs to the city after Beijing ordered law enforcement Examine the industry closely.

“Mass GGR is operating at approximately 100%,” reads JPMorgan’s detailed statement.

Macau is making efforts to overhaul the destination with non-gaming attractions. The six casino operators pledged last year to invest $13.5 billion in non-gaming projects before 2033.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *