March 2nd 2023 | Macau’s casinos recorded gross gaming revenue of MOP$10.32 billion (US$1.28 billion) in February, maintaining positive momentum following the removal of most border restrictions from 8 January.
According to information from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), the February total was 33.1% higher than February 2022 when Macau’s GGR was MOP$7.76 billion (US$959 million). Although lower than January’s MOP$11.58 billion (US$1.43 billion), February did not have the benefit of the Chinese New Year holiday which helped push the January total to a three-year high.
It also exceeded street expectations, with analysts having predicted February GGR would come in closer to MOP$9.5 billion (US$1.17 billion).
For the first two months of 2023 combined, GGR is up 55.3% year-on-year to MOP$21.90 billion (US$2.71 billion).
The change in fortune for Macau’s casinos comes after the government announced the scrapping of almost all COVID-19 border restrictions as of 8 January 2023, including the removal of testing requirements for visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It also disposed of its mandatory hotel quarantine for foreign tourists, who currently need only provide a negative COVID test upon arrival.
Ferry and bus services between Macau and Hong Kong also resumed for the first time in almost three years.
Investment bank Morgan Stanley said in a recent note that it has raised its 2023 GGR and EBITDA estimates for Macau’s casino operators by 42% and 70% respectively, citing better product mix and higher margins as Chinese customers return following the easing of border restrictions.
Source: Inside Asian Gaming
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