It seems Macau’s casino gambling industry is in a recession and the light at the end of the tunnel is still distant. In December, Macau’s casino gambling revenue dropped significantly – the most in about four years.
Macau’s casino gambling industry reported gross gaming revenue of 22.84 billion patacas (US$2.85 billion). The figure represents a drop of 13.7 percent year-on-year. According to the figures released by the city gambling regulator, Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), the last month of 2019 also fared the worst for Macau’s casinos since March 2016.
As predicted by industry experts and analysts, Macau’s casino revenue dropped with no signs of recovery. December’s decline in revenue was the third straight month of falling revenues.
2019 was one of the worst years for the city casinos. Macau reported a 3.4 percent decline in overall revenues as it grossed a total of 292.5 billion patacas. The drop comes after Macau’s casino industry had reported two years of consecutive gains. The decline in revenue has been attributed to the ongoing trade war between the US and China, and also the ongoing pro-democracy protests in neighboring Hong Kong.
However, amidst slumping revenue the slight relief for the casino operators in the city is that shares of Macau gaming operators rose by 12 percent on average in December, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence index.
While Wynn Macau shares jumped 11.5 percent, SJM Holdings was up 11.2 percent.
Recently, China’s President Xi Jinping visited Macau to join the celebrations on the 20th anniversary of Macau’s hand over from the Portuguese to the Chinese. China is rethinking its policies in Macau and is looking forward to diversifying the city’s economy to ensure that it is not wholly reliant on its casino gambling industry. Currently, Macau’s casino gambling industry contributes over 80 percent of the city’s revenues.