Macao gaming revenue falls to lowest level since September 2020

This April 10, 2020, file photo shows a view of the Cotai Strip in Macao. (Inside Asian Gaming)

Gaming revenue in Macao in April dropped to its lowest level in a year and a half, the region’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reported Monday.

The bureau reported revenue of $331.1 million (U.S.), a 68.1 percent decline from April 2021’s $1.04 billion. It was the lowest gaming revenue amount reported since September 2020’s $273.4 million.

The special administrative region continues to be affected by public health policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Borders into Macao have been closed on and off for the past two years, and lockdowns have been reported in some communities on the Chinese mainland.

For the first four months of 2022, Macao’s 41 casinos generated $1.23 billion, 36.2 percent below the $3.96 billion from the first four months of 2021. In pre-pandemic 2019, Macao’s casinos won more than $12.34 billion during the same four months.

Macao’s gaming figures are particularly important to three Las Vegas companies: Las Vegas Sands Corp., the region’s market leader with six properties; Wynn Resorts Ltd., with three resorts; and MGM Resorts International, which partners with casino entrepreneur Pansy Ho on two properties.

On Monday, MGM reported its first-quarter casino revenue in Macao fell 12 percent from $262 million in 2021 to $231 million this year.

Wynn Resorts is scheduled to report its quarterly earnings later this month.

Analysts Joe Greff of New York-based J.P. Morgan and Carlo Santarelli of the New York office of Deutsche Bank both downgraded their Macao revenue forecasts in light of April’s declines.

“While we cringe writing this next sentence, we do feel it is more likely than not that Macao is bottoming both from a fundamental point of view as well as from a share price and investor sentiment point of view,” Greff wrote in a report to investors, following the release of Sands’ earnings last week. “It can get worse for sure, but with marketwide visitation in the first quarter at 18 percent of pre-pandemic levels, we do not see much more downside.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family, including Dr. Miriam Adelson, majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Las Vegas Sands President and COO Patrick Dumont.

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