Macau Casinos Win Just $310M in June, Worst Month So Far in 2022

Macau casinos in June experienced their worst monthly revenue performance since September 2020.

Macau casinos revenue GGR COVID-19 China
Macau casinos revenue GGR COVID-19 China
Macau casinos are empty because of a COVID-19 outbreak. The virus greatly hurt casino business in June 2022, total gaming win coming in at just $310 million. (Image: Inside Asian Gaming)

June gross gaming revenue (GGR) totaled just MOP2.48 billion (US$310 million), 26% lower than May and a 62% drop from June 2021. To highlight the impact COVID-19 has had on the six casino operators, Macau GGR in June 2019 totaled nearly $3 billion.

Macau casinos remain vacant because of the enclave’s adherence to China’s “zero COVID” policy. The Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR) has been far from zero of late, as a COVID-19 outbreak in the region has infected more than 630 people.

Prior to its June outbreak, Macau had managed to keep its roughly 45-square-mile region free of the coronavirus.

Through the first half of 2022, Macau casinos have won approximately $3.25 billion off of gamblers. Through the first half of 2019, the same six gaming giants reported GGR of more than $18.5 billion.

Shares of the US-traded casino operators licensed in Macau — Sands, Melco, MGM, and Wynn — were all lower during Friday morning trading on the June revenue report.

Open, But Empty

With the coronavirus raging across Macau, the region’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau this week directed the six casinos to send most of their employees home. The gaming regulator told its concession holders to reduce their number of employees to around 10% of their typical staffing levels.

Inside Asian Gaming reports that some of the casinos have placed such workers on unpaid leave through July 8, while others are paying half of their typical wages amid the furloughs.

The media outlet says gaming checks this week counted less than 10 tables in operation at several downtown Macau casinos. During non-pandemic times, such casinos would typically offer hundreds of table games, most being baccarat, the game of choice in town.

Much of Macau is currently on lockdown, but the local government has sought to keep its casinos open, as gaming employs more workers than any other sector in the region. But with the virus raging on, government officials are beginning to temporarily order the suspension of gaming operations, too.

Mangos Tossed

China and Macau differ greatly from much of the rest of the world in going about handling the ongoing presence of the COVID-19 virus in 2022. While life in many countries, including the US, has largely returned to normal, China and Macau continue to take drastic steps to try and contain the disease.

Macau this week destroyed 220 pounds of mangos imported from Taiwan after a sample of the fruit tested positive for COVID-19. No mangos will be imported from Taiwan for at least a week, the enclave announced.

More than 20 neighborhoods in Macau are currently on lockdown, residents told not to leave their dwellings other than for essential reasons. Macau health officials say the latest variant — dubbed BA.5.1 Omicron — is perhaps the most contagious strain of the virus to date.

The government and Sands China are offering lodging for asymptomatic patients at the casino operator’s Sheraton Grand Macau property. The quarantine offering is to relocate infected individuals to the designated recovery hotel to ideally prevent the spread of the virus to family members.

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