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Macau starts 2021 with GGR down 63.7%

| By Richard Mulligan
Macau started 2021 with another month of year-on-year decline according to figures released by the Chinese Special Administrative Region’s authorities.

Gross gaming revenue was at MOP8.02bn ($1.0bn/€826.0m/£729.0m), which was down 63.7% compared to January 2020, according to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

It was a 12th month in a row in which Macau has seen a year-on-year decrease of more than 50%, with the autonomous region on the south coast of China having been impacted by a huge fall in tourism and the temporary closure of casinos since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the start of last year and the travel restrictions that followed. January’s figure was similar to the 65.8% drop experienced in December 2020 and far lower than the record 96.8% decline of April 2020.

The announcement came as figures released on Friday by the Statistics and Census Service showed that Macau’s “gaming and junket” segment had seen a drop in employment of more than 12% from the start of 2020. The employment figure of 76,300 in the sector for the October-to-December period was down 11,200 compared to the first quarter of the year.

Gross gambling revenue in Macau fell 79.3% year-on-year in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.

GGR amounted to MOP60.44bn (£5.55bn/€6.15bn/$7.57bn) in the 12-month period, down from MOP292.46bn in the previous year.

Like almost all gaming markets around the world, Macau was harmed by the temporary closure of its casinos in the early part of last year due to Covid-19. Macau also imposed travel restrictions, limiting the number of people who could enter the region.

However, with certain measures having been eased towards the end of the year, the situation in Macau improved in the final months of 2020.

GGR in December reached MOP7.82bn, which was 65.8% lower than the MOP22.84bn generated in the same month in 2019, but the second highest monthly total of 2020.

Covid-19 restrictions and closures also impacted a number of major operators active in Macau, including MGM Resorts International published, which saw its revenue from properties in Macau fall 93.6% at $46.9m in the third quarter, and Las Vegas Sands, where revenue declined 80.7% to $1.71bn for the full year.

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