Macau casinos earn $ 844 million in November, gambling hub in chaos

Posted on: Dec 1, 2021, 9:31 a.m.

Last update on: December 1, 2021, 9:45 a.m.

Macau casinos combined to earn MOP 6.75 billion (US $ 844 million) from players last month, a marginal increase of 0.01% from November 2020, but 55% better than in October.

Macau Casinos GGR Alvin Chau junket Suncity
Macau’s casinos gained short-lived momentum in November. But any optimism has been dampened by the recent arrest of Suncity junket tycoon Alvin Chau. The outlook for casinos is volatile as VIP promoters come under increased scrutiny in the Chinese gaming region. (Picture: Bloomberg)

Macau’s six licensed commercial casino operators had their best month of play since July. However, their November 2021 GGR total remains down 70.5% from November 2019 before the pandemic. It was at this time that the gaming sites jointly made over $ 2.85 billion.

November 2021 was broadly in line with analysts’ expectations. The increase in the GGR from October was due to the lifting of mandatory 14-day quarantine requirements for travelers commuting between the two jurisdictions in Macau and mainland China.

Over 11 months, Macau’s 2021 total GGR stands at $ 9.83 billion. While this is up 50% from 2020, the number is $ 23.8 billion lower than casinos won with a month to go in 2019.

Junking Junket Industry

The six casino giants in Macau are expected to see their operating rights end next June. The Chinese enclave is in the midst of a review of all aspects of its gambling industry – the richest in the world before COVID-19 – in an effort to better regulate gambling and the flow of capital from the continent through theaters games.

After years of being silent on potential changes, it has recently emerged that youth groups are being closely watched and targeted by local and mainland authorities. Alvin Chau, the face of the VIP junket industry, was arrested last week for allegedly running illegal gambling businesses across China.

Chau’s Suncity is not the only junket organizer investigated in Macau. GGRAsia today relays that several other leading groups have been the subject of operational investigations by prosecutors on the continent since last year.

Meg Star, Tak Chun, and Guangdong Club are three of those game promoters that have reportedly come under close scrutiny.

Chau announced yesterday his resignation from his Suncity group. Macau casinos later confirmed they were closing their VIP gambling halls which have long been Suncity designated gambling spaces.

Junkets, who helped propel Macau from a small gambling market controlled by the late “gambling king” Stanley Ho to a world record of $ 45 billion in 2013, has come to be looked down upon by Chinese President Xi Jinping over the years. last five years or so. Xi believes that the massive movement of money from the mainland through casinos constitutes a risk to the national security of the People’s Republic.

With Chau and several of his closest associates in custody in Macau, casinos will need a lot more than COVID-19 to come close to the gambling numbers they experienced just a few years ago.

Casino stock crash

Since Chau’s detention, shares in Macau’s listed casinos have fallen in value.

Over the past week, shares of Las Vegas Sands have fallen nine percent, MGM Resorts’ shares are down three percent, Wynn Resorts’ 11 percent, Galaxy Entertainment’s 8.2 percent, and Melco Resorts’. by more than 12 percent and SJM Resorts by five percent.

Coupled with lingering concerns over COVID-19 and the recent crackdown on Chau and Suncity, the largest junket group in Macau, analysts are bearish about the future of the Chinese gaming hub. There’s a good reason, as junket groups brought around 70% of Macau’s VIP volume to the region before the pandemic.

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