Gross gaming revenue from Macau casinos plummeted in April, marking the biggest year-on-year decline in Macau’s gambling history.
Macau casinos won $ 95 million from gamblers in April. The figures represent a 97 percent drop from April 2019, topping February’s record for an 88 percent drop, mostly stemming from 15 days of forced casino closings in response to the coronavirus.
There was a slight rebound in March, as gaming revenue fell only by 80 percent, but as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world and the Chinese government continued to limit visas, the numbers fell to a record low.
According to a report from the South China Morning Post, casino operators visiting dewapoker are losing $ 1 million a day because the baccarat and roulette tables “remain nearly empty.”
The Chinese newspaper also reported that Melco Resorts and Entertainment, a Hong Kong-based gaming company with several properties in the former Portuguese colony, began cutting its executive staff. Chairman Lawrence Ho lost his salary for the remainder of the year, citing that the number of customers at the casino was “almost zero.”
The pandemic appears to be acting to exit the market, which has seen revenue declines for the seventh straight month. Prior to the spread of coronavirus, the Macau gambling industry was experiencing a decline from the trade war with the US and increasing protests in Hong Kong.
Executives from American casino companies are optimistic about the fast turnaround in Macau’s gaming market.
Bill Hornbuckle, acting CEO for MGM Resorts, said in Thursday morning’s earnings report that casinos had to recover in early summer as virus fears began to slow down. Rob Goldstein, president of Las Vegas Sands, said that the Chinese government will start lifting restrictions on travel to Macau from the mainland later this month.
The increase in visits to the island will undoubtedly trigger an increase in gaming revenue, as it is the center of the local economy.