The Macau gaming market endured another tough month as revenue declined 93 percent year-over-year in May.
Gross gaming revenue for the former Portuguese colony and the world’s largest gambling hub was $221 million in May, according to numbers released by the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau.
May marked the eighth straight month that the region experienced year-over-year declines in gambling revenue. The first half of that streak stemmed from a combination of escalating Hong Kong protests, a slowdown in the Chinese economy and the looming fears of a trade war with the U.S.
The second half of this slump saw much steeper declines and are almost exclusively from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced casinos to close for 15 days in February.
The only available data from the Chinese government would indicate that the spread of coronavirus has been under control for some while, but there has been heavy border and visa restrictions implemented for travel in and out of Macau. These restrictions are the main cause of the declining business but are expected to ease in the coming weeks.
Both Hong Kong and the Guangdong province are forcing its residents to undergo a 14-day quarantine period when they return from Macau. The bulk of Macau’s tourism comes from those two areas.
Las Vegas casinos are scheduled to begin its reopening process in just two days after a nearly three-month shutdown. Unlike Macau, Las Vegas doesn’t have border restrictions that would hamper its revenue, but escalating protests throughout the country surrounding the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers may put a damper on business.
Protests aside, the U.S. gambling market seems primed for a rebound based off the early returns from the reopening of casinos in other areas of country.
When Florida began reopening its casinos and poker rooms, there were over 100 people on waitlists for poker games at the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa location. There was a similar turnout just a few days ago at a poker room in Arizona when Talking Stick Resort opened its doors.
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