Macau Casinos are doing quite well in 2022, as the most recent earnings figures have been released, showing an increase for February. In total, the region generated MOP$7.76 billion ($964 million) for the month, which is a more than 6% increase from 2021. When compared to January, the total is boosted even more, by over 22%.
Details of the Improved Result
For Macau, February was a successful month. The region saw a successful Spring Festival holiday as operators saw a steady stream of visitors during the week. Visitor totals are looking up, with Inside Asian Gaming reporting that the Public Security Police force indicated that Macau saw over 37,000 visitor arrivals on Saturday. This is the highest single-day total since 2022 began.
Despite the high numbers, COVID-19 still plays a negative role in the region’s ability to welcome guests. The region is still closed to visitors from Hong Kong, which cuts down on regular visitor numbers. Hong Kong is currently under a major outbreak, the first of its kind since the pandemic began.
Macau also has tight border controls when it comes to mainland China, another area where the bulk of its visitors come from. The hope is that eventually regular travel will be restored, which will lead to a steady influx of traffic on a regular basis.
For the first two months of 2022, Macau has earned MOP$14.10 billion ($1.75 billion) in gross gaming revenues. When compared year-over-year, that total is an 8% decrease. When compared to 2019, the totals get even lower. February 2019 totals were over 69% higher than last month’s earnings, of course, this was before the onset of the pandemic.
2021 Tax Payments
For the year 2021, Macau saw an increase in tax payments paid to the local government. The Financial Services Bureau recently reported that Macau paid MOP$33.91 billion ($4.22 billion), an increase of 13.8% when compared to 2020 payments. The region is steadily recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, even though the growth rate is slow.
The increase was welcomed, but the numbers were short of expectations. The government expected the industry to earn MOP$50 billion based on the annual budget. Gross gaming revenues for 2021 came in at MOP$86.86 billion ($10.82 billion), an increase of 43% from 2020. Yet, this is still down from 2019’s numbers.
For 2022, the annual budget estimates that the gaming tax will reach just under MOP$50 billion. The region will have to continually see visitors and open its borders to Hong Kong and mainland China if it is going to reach the estimated numbers.