Macau’s full-year GDP will likely fall less than previously estimated: Lei Wai Nong

Macau’s full-year GDP will likely fall less than previously estimated: Lei Wai Nong

While the overall economic scenario for the gambling hub of Macau remains dim, it appears that it will not be quite as dim as previously had been expected. In simple words, the losses for the world’s leading gambling hub will not be as massive as once thought.

According to Macau Secretary for Economy & Finance Lei Wai Nong, the gambling hub’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the current year will slip year-over-year 56 per cent. While the estimated drop in GDP is not small, it is smaller than the decline of 60.9 per cent that had been estimated earlier this year.

Nong shared the fresh stats in a recent meeting of the city’s Legislative Assembly. The first quarter of this year, which started in January 2020, brought a decline of 48.7 per cent in GDP; while the second and third quarters brought declines of 67.8 per cent and 63.8 per cent, respectively. The final quarter is expected to provide some relief, but not much.

However, analysts are hopeful that relaxation in Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions and reviving Chinese mainland tourism and domestic demand will provide a much-needed foundation for a recovery from the downturn. Domestic demand plays a key role in Macau’s casino and entertainment business as it represents approximately 66 per cent of the city’s GDP. Following relaxation in the pandemic-related restrictions, the number of visitors increased a whopping 1,408.6 per cent over the previous quarter, but remained 92.4 per cent down from the same quarter of 2019.

According to stats just released by the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau, the month of November saw gross gaming revenue (GGR) at the gambling hub’s casinos falling 7.2% from the previous month. Casino operators reported a GGR of $845 million (MOP6.75 billion). For the month of October, the GGR of $909.4 million (MOP7.27 billion) was reported. The figures represents a drastic year-over-decline decline from November 2019’s GGR of $2.86 billion (MOP22.88 billion).

The Covid-19 pandemic was the leading cause of drastic revenue fall in Macau in the first three quarters of this year. However, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and other casino operators said that they saw a notable growth in gambling activity in October. Casino operators are seeing significant growth in both patronage and business volume, but industry experts have warned that it could still take a long time for the gambling hub to swing back to pre pandemic business.