The world’s largest gambling market saw a strong rebound in September as casinos in Macau reported $735 million worth of gross gaming revenue.
The numbers, which were released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, represent a 165.9% increase year-over-year and a sizable jump from the $554.5 million reported in August.
The rebound comes in spite of new regulations that are likely to be pushed on the industry soon. In mid-September the government announced that there were several new regulations coming, including possibly changing the number of licenses awarded and adding government agents to oversee day-to-day activities for every license holder.
The rumor of those regulations alone was enough to send stock prices of Macau casino companies downward with Wynn Macau and Sands China plunging 34% and 28%, respectively.
August’s revenue dip, however, was due in large part to COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed by the government thanks to a spike in cases from the rise of the delta variant. At the end of September, head of the Macau government Ho lat Seng said that the case count in August and September “ended up frustrating” the economy. Seng was forecasting a “sharp drop” in the gaming revenue numbers in response to this.
Fortunately for operators, and the tax revenue collected from the gross earnings, the sharp drop never came.
With September’s end, it allows the third quarter numbers to be calculated. From July through September, operators in Macau won $2.32 billion from gamblers. It’s a massive 283.8% jump from the same timeframe in 2020, but down 26.1 percent from the second quarter of 2020.
The sequential dip in the third quarter can easily be attributed to rising COVID-19 case count in August and September and the travel restrictions that came with it. Year-to-date, Macau casinos have won $4.8 billion.