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Macao finishes 2020 with lowest gaming revenue total since 2010

Macao reported its lowest gross gaming revenue total in more than a decade as the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau on Friday released figures from the month of December.

The bureau reported December revenue of $979.5 million (U.S.), a 65.8 percent decline from the December 2019 total. It was the 15th straight month of declines compared with previous years.

For 2020, Macao’s 41 casinos grossed $7.57 billion (U.S.), a 79.3 percent decline from 2019. Casinos generated $23.6 billion in 2010. The highest amount in the last 10 years occurred in 2013 when the bureau reported $45.2 billion in revenue.

Revenue collected in December was higher than the November total.

Macao’s fortunes have been slowed by the coronavirus pandemic since February when casinos there were closed for two weeks.

The recovery of Macao’s gaming industry has been slowed by government policies to close the region’s borders, eliminating visitation from mainland China, Hong Kong and other Southeast Asian countries. The government began relaxing border policies in August, but tourists have been slow to return to the world’s largest gaming hub.

Analysts with Hong Kong-based Bernstein Research said in December that it expects visitor numbers to Macao to gradually increase over the coming months, pushing up gross gaming revenue numbers at the same time. They estimate Hong Kong contributes between 10 percent and 15 percent of Macao’s annual revenue.

Hong Kong is battling a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections and Bernstein said, “The Macao government had earlier confirmed that there will not be Macao-Hong Kong travel bubble until Hong Kong has zero local transmissions for a consecutive 14 days.”

Macao is important to Las Vegas because three companies have a presence there, including Wynn Resorts Ltd., MGM Resorts International and market leader Las Vegas Sands Corp.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates six properties in Macao and one in Singapore.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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