Macau Casinos Record Highest Gambling Revenue Since January 2020, March Winnings Reach $1.6B

In March 2023, Macau casinos achieved their highest monthly gaming revenue (GGR) since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019, reaching MOP12.738 billion (US$1.58 billion). This was a 38-month high for the Special Administrative Region’s six casino operators, representing a 23% increase from February and a 247% growth from March the year prior.

The first quarter of the year saw a total of around $4.3 billion in GGR, almost double the amount from January-March 2022. This resurgence follows the implementation of strict entry rules, mass testing, and lockdowns as a result of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s controversial “zero-COVID” policy.

As of now, Macau has reopened its borders to mainlanders, Hong Kongers, and Taiwanese without the need for testing or quarantine. However, foreign visitors must still present a negative COVID-19 antigen or nucleic acid test within 48 hours of departure.

March-2023 marked the return of normal life in Macau, which previously experienced the most disruptions in 2020 and 2021. After seeing only sporadic cases in 2020 and 2021, the region experienced its first major outbreak in July 2022, leading to 15 days of casino closures and a yearly GGR of $5.25 billion.

The lifting of lockdowns in November saw a surge of pent-up demand in the gaming industry, with February seeing 1.6 million visitors, the highest monthly total since January 2020. Gaming analysts from Morgan Stanley have also upgraded their outlook for Macau’s six gaming operators, citing better-than-expected business margins and visitor numbers.