Rise in Chinese COVID-19 Cases Hit Macau Gaming Revenues

Just as things were beginning to look up in Macau, a surge in coronavirus cases in mainland China has hit the enclave’s gaming revenues.

Macau's revenues is hit by COVID-19

According to analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein, the daily gross gaming revenue (GGR) over the first 17 days of 2021 averaged roughly $34.6 million. However, this was before coronavirus cases began to surge on the mainland, with the seven-day average of daily positive tests jumping from around 10 to 144.

Because of this, Macau has tightened its borders and brought back quarantine requirements for those arriving from two cities and four provinces. This has resulted in a drop in GGR to an average of $21.4 million between January 18 and 24.


Next month, from February 12 to February 22, China will be celebrating its New Year, and it is usually a time when many mainlanders choose to travel. In a normal year, Macau would expect to receive a huge number of visitors. However, with people worried about COVID-19 and the mainland government urging residents not to travel, it is highly likely that visitor numbers will be significantly down from normal.

Gaming analysts from Credit Suisse have said that there are reduced bookings in the mass gaming sector. They believe that difficulties in obtaining visas to visit Macau is one reason and that the enclave’s quarantine policy will be putting many potential visitors off. Anyone arriving from Beijing, Shanghai, or the provinces of Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Hebei, and Jilin must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Overall, it is expected that this month’s GGR will be down 67% compared to January 2019, the last month before widespread lockdowns were brought in throughout China.

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