Macau’s casino industry experienced a significant surge in May, with gross gaming revenue (GGR) reaching nearly MOP20.19 billion (US$2.51 billion). This figure marks an 8.9 percent increase from April’s GGR of approximately MOP18.55 billion, representing the highest monthly performance since January 2020, when the city recorded a GGR of MOP22.13 billion, just before the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the industry.

The impressive performance in May was significantly influenced by the May Golden Week, a five-day holiday in mainland China starting on May 1 to celebrate Labour Day. This period traditionally sees a spike in tourism and gaming activity in Macau as visitors flock to the city. According to a note from JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd, quoted by GGRAsia, the Golden Week was “surprisingly golden” for casino GGR, suggesting stronger than expected gaming revenue during this holiday period.

Year-on-year comparisons further highlight the strong recovery, with May’s GGR showing a 29.7 percent increase from May 2023. Data released on Saturday by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau underscore this positive trend, reflecting a robust recovery trajectory for the region’s casino sector.

However, the month did not close without challenges. Macau faced a bad weather warning on the final day of May due to the approach of a tropical depression, prompting the issuance of the No. 3 Typhoon Signal on Friday. Despite the weather disruptions, the overall performance for May remained unaffected.

Encouraging Data

The cumulative data for the first five months of 2024 is also encouraging. Macau’s GGR for this period reached nearly MOP96.06 billion, up 47.9 percent from the same period in the previous year. This significant increase signals a strong rebound for Macau’s gaming industry, which has been recovering steadily from the severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several factors contribute to this recovery, including relaxed travel restrictions, increased tourism, and pent-up demand for leisure and entertainment activities. Macau’s government and gaming operators have been actively working to attract tourists back to the city, with various marketing campaigns and incentives. Additionally, the stabilization of the pandemic situation in China has encouraged more mainland visitors to travel to Macau, further boosting gaming revenues.

The May Golden Week’s success is particularly noteworthy as it highlights the potential for high-revenue periods tied to public holidays and special events. Industry analysts and stakeholders are optimistic that Macau can sustain this upward trajectory, especially with upcoming holidays and festivals likely to draw more visitors.

Looking ahead, the continued recovery of Macau’s casino market will depend on several factors, including the regional economic environment, travel policies, and the management of any future pandemic-related challenges. The recent positive performance offers a hopeful outlook for the remainder of the year, with expectations that Macau’s GGR will continue to grow.

Macau’s May 2024 casino revenue, hitting US$2.5 billion, represents a significant milestone in the post-pandemic recovery of the region’s gaming industry. With robust year-on-year growth and a successful May Golden Week, the outlook for Macau’s casino market remains positive, signaling a strong rebound and a promising future for the industry.