Mass Market in Macau Outpaces VIP Market

One of the reasons Macau is a popular gambling place was that many VIP players from China and around the world visited to play casino games, leaving a lot of money along the way. A large percentage of Macau’s economy depends on VIP players. Many saw this model as precarious since there are not many VIP players, and a slight change in their schedule could dramatically impact Macau’s economy.

However, that seems to have changed recently as Macau displayed a mass-market casino growth, which managed to outshine the area’s VIP market. The 2020 third-quarter numbers showed that although the entire year was pretty bad for the Chinese gambling Mecca, which suffered a heavy blow from the coronavirus pandemic, there is reason for optimism.

Q3 of 2020 – What Do The Numbers Say?

Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICL) released figures for Q3 of 2020, showing that the total gaming revenue was MOP4.88 billion, which is approximately $612 million. The disheartening numbers showed a 93% decline compared to the same period last year.

On a more positive note, the Q3 numbers are an improvement over Q2, as figures were 51% better than March, April, and May of 2020 at the time of the first wave of the pandemic.

The most played game among VIP players was baccarat, which made up 48% of the Q3’s total. The revenue earned from this game was MOP2.34 billion. Once again, it was just a drop in the bucket compared to the revenue made in Q3 of 2019, but there was a 51% improvement compared to 2020 Q2.

Mass market gaming also improved sequentially for MOP1 billion, with mass-market baccarat revenue topping the list with MOP1.9 billion. However, slots were less popular than in Q2, with a 13% decline, earning just MOP365 million. This was somewhat unexpected, given that 649 new slot machines were added in Macau casinos.

Sports Impact on Macau’s Results

However, what made the real difference in Macau in Q3 results was the Macau Slot’s sports lottery. Soccer betting revenue tripled compared to Q2, earning a total of MOP138 million. The return of soccer in Europe was an important milestone for Macau, as the reported turnover increased significantly — from MOP498 million in Q2 to MOP 1.43 billion in Q3. Basketball was also popular and showed an improvement, although it’s cannot be compared to soccer in terms of popularity in Macau. In Q2, basketball turnover was MOP16 million and increased to MOP38 million in Q3.

Macau is still far from out of the woods, as the DICJ posted an annual decline of more than 90% for the sixth straight month. There was an overall decline of 76% for the Golden Week holiday in China, even though Beijing approved the resumption of travel from Guandong province. As long as there’s a threat from the coronavirus, it seems Macau will be on a slow road to recovery.

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