Macau’s Casino Scene Takes a Step Backward as 2022 Gets Going

Macau’s Casino Scene Takes a Step Backward as 2022 Gets Going

According to Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ, for its Portuguese acronym) data, Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell 20.3% in January. This is a decrease of 20.3% from the previous month. This revenue was MOP6.34 billion ($793 million) compared to December’s MOP7.96 billion ($990.2 million). The year-on-year difference saw a drop of 20.9%.

January Revenue Slips in Macau

Pre-COVID-19 pandemic conditions saw that the period immediately preceding a Chinese New Year in Macau is usually quiet in terms of consumer demand. The lunar new year falls on Tuesday, February 1, this year.

In January, there were cases of COVID-19 in the Chinese mainland cities of Zhuhai and Zhongshan in the Guangdong province next to Macau. This coincided with the tightening of the validity period for COVID-19 cross-border travel testing.

Analysts have indicated that this also seemed to reduce the demand for Macau trips. Mainland China has a largely unrestricted travel agreement with Macau.

Compared to January 2020, the time immediately before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, January 2022’s GGR fell by 71.3%.

Chinese New Year to Boost Macau Visitation

Macau expected to receive 20,000 tourists daily during the Chinese New Year holiday. A representative of the Macao Government Tourism Office made the announcement over the weekend.

China’s State Council designated this holiday period as starting Monday, January 31, the eve of the Chinese New Year, and ending Sunday, February 6.

Late last week, Zhuhai authorities announced that they had lifted all lockdown and control measures in Nanping immediately to prepare for the Chinese New Year holiday. Nanping is located approximately 10 minutes from Gongbei Port, Qingmao Port, and Wanzai Port.

It is also about 20 minutes from Hengqin Port. Since January 14, 10 COVID-19 positive cases have been discovered during a mass testing campaign.

The Macau Health Bureau has responded by reducing the time required for Zhuhai visitors to obtain a negative result to 24 hours. This significantly impacts visitation throughout the month.

Zhuhai added that the lockdown would be lifted at 6 AM on January 28. The area is now considered low-risk, according to an announcement by the Zhuhai Pandemic Prevention and Control Leading Group.

Since January 13, Nanping has seen nine rounds of mass nucleic acids testing. However, those living and working at quarantine sites still need to be tested twice daily.

The Spring Festival Golden Week is January 31 – February 20, 2022. On January 27, the Macao Government Tourism Office announced that it would be launching a number of activities for this year’s Chinese New Year Celebration activities. These events were canceled both in 2020 and 2021.