The casino industry in Macau saw a significant increase in gaming income in December, despite weakened consumer spending in China. The gross gaming income reached 18.6 billion patacas, approximately $2.3 billion, according to data from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. This represented a 433% increase from the previous year, and the final result was 81.3% of the December 2019 total.
For the entire year of 2023, gaming revenue in Macau reached 183.1 billion patacas. The Bloomberg Intelligence Index of 6 casino operators in Macau showed a 2.2% increase on January 2, with Sands China Ltd. jumping by 3.7% and MGM China Holdings Ltd. rising by 5.4%.
Despite China’s economic slowdown, Macau has experienced a stable recovery in its gaming sector. The shift in spending model has been a boon for casinos in Macau, as visitors are looking for instant gratification activities, such as entertainment, rather than shopping for luxury goods.
Operators also reported that the per capita spending for high-end gamblers remained at or above 2019 levels, indicating a strong market for premium guests. However, it is expected it will take years for gaming income to fully recover after China clamped down on high-volume players and capital outflows.
Analysts predict that the income could reach around 76% of pre-COVID levels by the end of this year. The Bloomberg Intelligence Index of casino operators in Macau increased by 14.8% in December, but still experienced a drop of 19.1% for the whole of 2023. The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 13.9% for the whole of 2023.
Overall, the casino industry in Macau has demonstrated resilience despite the economic challenges in China, and is showing signs of recovery.