Macau casinos collectively just had their worst month ever on the books.
According to figures from the local government in the special administrative region of China, Macau casino win was $49 million in July, the worst performance ever over a single month. Macau began casino gambling reporting in 2009.
The $49 million haul in July was down 98% compared to July 2019.
Covid-19 restrictions are to blame for the extreme plummet. Casinos were reopened on July 23 after a multi-week closure to try to contain the virus.
Gamblers stayed mostly away from the casinos in the final week of the month. Cumbersome restrictions are still in place in Macau, including requirements to show a negative Covid-19 test.
Stocks of Macau casino operators are down nearly 20% year-to-date. The Macau casino industry reportedly could see a combined loss of roughly $500 million over the most recent quarter, possibly further depressing casino share prices.
Macau, the only place in China with legal gambling, was previously generating gambling revenue that was dwarfing what was seen in Las Vegas. Macau’s gaming market hit a high of $45 billion in 2013. Prior to Macau’s downturn, it was predicted in a Wall Street Journal report that in 2017 the gambling market would hit $77 billion.
That never came to fruition due to restrictions from mainland China on high-roller activity. For comparison, the state of Nevada sees roughly $12 billion a year in casino gambling win.