Macau Sets New Gaming Revenue Record

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Macau observed a significant surge in gambling revenue during October, according to a statement released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ, for its Portuguese acronym). It experienced a month-on-month growth of 30.6%, surpassing MOP19.50 billion ($2.42 billion).

An Optimistic Outlook

In a statement released on Wednesday, brokerage firm JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd proclaimed October's gross gaming revenue (GGR) to be the most impressive monthly performance since before the COVID-19 outbreak in January 2020. In addition, October's GGR not only surpassed market expectations but also exceeded the updated forecast market volume of MOP19.2 billion (US$2.38 billion). It stands as the highest recorded figure in the past 45 months.

The GGR has surged 105% compared to October 2019. Additionally, analysts with JP Morgan acknowledged that a strong Golden Week played a crucial role in supporting this milestone.

China's Golden Week holiday encompassed the initial six days of October. Macau encountered a decline of 13.2% in its GGR for September, following the impressive performance in August when it reached MOP17.21 billion (US$2.13 billion), marking the highest monthly achievement since January 2020.

Official data shows that in October, there was an increase of 400.2% compared to the previous year, during which strict COVID-19-related travel limitations were still in effect. These numbers account for approximately 73.7% of the travel figures recorded in October 2019.

2023 GGR Continues Beating Expectations

Macau's GGR for the 10 months through October 31 has surged by 315.6% compared to last year, amounting to approximately MOP148.45 billion (US$18.4 billion). In a recently unveiled budget plan for the fiscal year 2024, the Macau government has projected the country's GGR for 2023 to reach MOP216.0 billion (US$26.80 billion).

According to government officials, Macau is anticipating a continuous surge in visitor numbers as it unveils fresh tourism offerings and diversifies its sources of tourism both domestically and internationally. Consequently, the budget for GGR in FY2024 has been set at MOP216 billion (US$26.78 billion), taking into account this projected growth.

This estimate encompasses the city's total revenue, including proceeds derived from the 40% gaming tax, amounting to MOP107.11 billion (US$13.28 billion). Conversely, the government anticipates an expenditure nearing MOP105.94 billion (US$13.13 billion).

In 2024, the government is projected to earn MOP75.6 billion (US$9.37 billion) from the gaming tax, marking a significant increase. The amount collected from taxes and commissions paid by casinos and junkets is estimated to reach MOP30 million (US$3.72 billion), which is three times higher than the government's anticipated revenue of MOP10 million (US$1.24 billion) for the fiscal year 2023.