ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Economy

Macao casino revenue sinks 79% as mainlanders stay away

Facilities reopen, but pandemic-related restrictions hinder business

The Casino Lisboa in Macao in December 2019. The territory's gaming industry has been hit hard by a drop in visitors from outside its borders.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Macao's casino revenue plunged 79% in 2020 as tough entry restrictions to combat COVID-19 kept visitors away, bringing into relief the strong dependence on gamblers from mainland China.

Gross revenue came to 60.4 billion pataca ($7.6 billion) in statistics from the Macao government. The figure declined for a second straight year, hitting a 14-year low.

The authorities had shut casinos down for 15 days in February over the new coronavirus. Even after the facilities reopened, casino revenue was down 97% on the year in June.

Macao started allowing visitors from the mainland in September once the outbreak was brought under control. Gambling facilities have seen business improve, with revenue down 66% for December. But a full recovery is far off, as mainlanders must submit negative COVID-19 test results before entering, and foreigners are still basically barred from crossing the border.

Another negative factor is the spreading of the coronavirus in Hong Kong. Not only has this made it difficult for Hong Kongers to visit Macao, but travel agencies are unable to sell popular tours of both destinations. Casino revenue in Macao in 2021 will reach only about 80% of the 2019 figure and will not recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2022, according to projections by Bernstein Research.

Macao casino operators all fell into the red for the January-June period. The government is trying to convert the economy to one driven by family-friendly resorts instead of the gaming industry, but the earnings slump could impact the companies' capital investment.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more