Macau Casino Revenue Tumbles 97% to $94.4m in April

  • Macau's casino operators generated a record low of $94.4m in April
  • Main reason for this huge fall is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
  • Macau is cut off from most of its key markets due to border restrictions
  • Operators sitting on significant cash pile, won't need to raise debt
male looking at declining revenue graph
Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) confirmed casino revenue tumbled to a record low of $94.4m in April. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Another disastrous month

Macau’s casinos experienced another disastrous month in April, with revenue dropping by almost 97% to a record low of $94.4m. This revenue total represents an all-time monthly low for casinos in the region.

Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) released figures confirming the new record on Friday. Even when compared to March 2020, these results are very poor, representing only one-sixth of what was reported the previous month.

revenue total represents an all-time monthly low for casinos in the region

Even when Macau casinos closed for 15 days in February in an effort to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, revenue totaled $390m. To date, there have been 45 confirmed cases of the virus in Macau, with zero deaths.

Decline caused by coronavirus impact

Naturally, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is the main reason for these poor figures. While casinos have reopened, they are operating with a lot of restrictions and limited capacities. The borders between the island and its major markets are also closed.

Visitors from the mainland Chinese province of Guangdong must spend two weeks in quarantine upon returning from Macau. Therefore, these people are staying away, with this region being one of the biggest markets for Macau casinos.

There has been a year-on-year decline of 93.7% in visitor numbers during March. On one of the days at the beginning of April, only 210 people went through the border checkpoints in Macau. There are hopes that the travel restrictions between mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau can be lessened in the coming weeks. 

However, Hong Kong will still have a two-week quarantine policy in place until June 7 at the earliest. Health officials have been looking at ways to not require visitors to Macau to spend two weeks in quarantine, both when they arrive in Macau and when they return home.

Casinos struggling across the globe

Naturally, these such low revenue figures are not good for the casino companies on the island. The six main casino companies do have significant cash reserves that will keep them going for now. However, as this pandemic continues and traveler numbers remain suppressed, it could be a different picture down the line.

analysts believe it will not be until 2022 that Macau’s casino revenue returns to 2019 levels

Many analysts believe it will not be until 2022 that Macau’s casino revenue returns to 2019 levels. Then there will be the issue of casino license renewals in Macau up for debate. The Macau government believes there is an overreliance on the gambling sector, with the pandemic exposing this fact.

Casino companies across the world are bleeding cash and furloughing workers. Many have seen their share prices slashed as most casinos in the United States and Europe remain shut. This has led to cut dividends and profit warnings.