Macau’s gambling sector continues to thrive with another impressive month in December, reporting a monthly gross income of MOP$18.6bn, marking a 433% increase from the previous year. While this was a 15.7% increase from November, it fell short of the MOP$19.5bn recorded in October.

This strong performance has brought Macau’s cumulative gross income for 2023 to MOP$183.1bn, a significant 333.8% increase from the previous year. The region is continuing to bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the removal of restrictions leading to consistent year-on-year growth.

Last year, Macau faced temporary casino closures and travel restrictions, but the elimination of these hurdles has driven remarkable financial growth. Visitors from outside China no longer have to quarantine, contributing to the resurgence of tourism and economic activity.

One notable beneficiary of Macau’s easing restrictions is Melco Resorts & Entertainment, which reported a revenue hike of 320.6% in Q3, with casino revenue jumping 346.2%. The company also posted a positive adjusted EBITDA of $280.6m for the quarter, a stark contrast to the loss experienced in the same period the previous year.

Despite China’s struggles in its lottery and sports betting sectors, Macau has continued to flourish. However, Southeast Asia is emerging as a potential competitor to Macau, with experts predicting that the ASEAN bloc will surpass Japan in gaming opportunities within the decade. This indicates that while Macau’s success is notable, it may not be the primary driver of regional gambling growth in the future.

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