Macau casino revenue reaches 18-month low in March

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Gaming revenue in Macau reached its lowest level for 18 months in March, dropping to MOP3.67bn (£346.3m/€412.6m/$454.2m).
Macau fireworks

That revenue figure was down 55.8% from March 2021, when operators brought in MOP8.31bn. In addition, it was the lowest since September 2020, when operators brought in only MOP2.21bn.

The total was also down by 52.1% from February’s MOP7.76bn.

When compared to March 2019, the last March before the impact of Covid-19, revenue was down 85.8%.

Looking at the year to date, revenue came to MOP17.77bn. This was down 24.8% from 2021, when revenue had reached MOP23.64bn by this point.

This total was also the lowest first-quarter total since the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ)’s records began, down 76.7% from pre-Covid 2019.

At the start of March, the Macau government announced that the special administrative region’s gaming licences are set to be extended by six months, until 31 December 2022.

Licences for Macau’s three concessionaires, as well as its three subconcessionaires, were set to expire on 26 June of this year.

However, the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lee Wai Nong, told the six operators to prepare to apply for an extension.

This, he said, will allow the bidding process for new licences to come under the terms of an amended Gambling Act, as the Legislative Assembly is currently considering a law to change how gambling is governed in Macau.

Under this act, the number of concessions will be increased to six, but subconcessions will be scrapped, meaning the number of operators in the market would remain the same as before.

The licence term will also be shortened from 20 years to 10.

Other rules to be introduced include limits on the number of gaming machines that may be operated, plus new rules designed to curb the influence of junkets.

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