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Macau GGR Surges 334% in 2023, Triggers 20% Rise in Non-Gaming Investment




Macau GGR Surges 334% in 2023, Triggers 20% Rise in Non-Gaming Investment

Macau’s full-year GGR rose 334% year-on-year in 2023, requiring casino companies to increase their non-gaming investment by 20%. [Image:]

A strong year

The world’s biggest gambling hub was hit hard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While casinos didn’t have to close for long periods, Macau was largely cut off from other regions for three years and it was only in January 2023 that the its borders were open once more.

surpassed the government’s initial estimate of MOP$130bn (US$16bn)

Now the fortunes of the casino sector are on the rise, with gross gaming revenue (GGR) soaring 334% year-on-year to MOP$183bn (US$22.7bn). This greatly surpassed the government’s initial estimate of MOP$130bn (US$16bn). Macau had an especially strong end to the year with GGR rising 433% year-to-year in December, setting it up nicely for continuing improvements.

The final quarter GGR was 105% of the same period in 2019, so momentum is building. It still has a ways to go before returning to pre-pandemic full-year levels, with last year’s total equivalent to 62.6% of the 2019 figure.

Success comes at a price

The six casino companies that have licenses to operate in the region will have to increase their investment in non-gaming ventures as a result of the strong results.

A stipulation in the new ten-year licenses that the operators signed toward the end of 2022 states that they need to increase this form of investment by 20% if the region’s total GGR exceeds MOP$180bn (US$22.4bn) in any of the first five years of the new licensing period.

eager to decrease the area’s reliance on gambling-related revenue

They had already planned to put a total of MOP$108.7bn (US$13.5bn) into non-gaming investments. Macau officials are eager to decrease the area’s reliance on gambling-related revenue.

Tourist levels on the rise

People are returning to Macau in droves, with about 28.2 million people paying a visit during 2023, approximately 70% of pre-pandemic totals. The number of international visitors, in particular, has been impressive, reaching 94.4% of December 2019 levels for the last month of 2023.

More countries are starting to embrace gambling which could increase competition in the region, including plans for casinos in Japan.

Talking about the strong recovery, the Macau Government Tourism Office said that last year’s results showcase “the attractiveness of Macau as a global tourism and leisure centre.”

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