Macau gaming revenue falls 90% in September; market is down 82.5% for all of 2020 Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · October 1, 2020 at 2:39 pm Macau casinos experienced a sixth straight month of 90% gaming revenues during September, continuing a slower pace of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic than most analysts expected. The Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau said Thursday Macau’s casinos collected $280 million from gamblers in September, a 90% decline from a year ago. Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, and MGM Resorts International are the U.S. companies with casino operations in Macau, considered the world’s largest gaming market in terms of revenues. Through September, total gaming revenue for nine months is $4.84 billion, down 82.5% from a year ago. In all of 2019, Macau casinos produced $36.6 billion in gaming revenues. Macau casinos have seen business slowed since the outbreak in January and canceled the lucrative Chinese New Year celebrations and forced casinos to close for 15 days in February. COVID-19 travel restrictions from different Chinese provinces have hurt visitation. The restrictions have been lifted in time for Golden Week, the market’s most lucrative holiday after Chinese New Year. According to Bloomberg News, Macau has seen few arrivals even though visas have been made available to residents in China’s Guangdong province. The region previously accounted for a third of Macau’s visitors. Macau’s casinos have remained largely empty as inconvenient requirements still make it difficult to enter Macau from the mainland, such as obtaining a negative virus test. Other destinations such as Hainan are proving a draw for Chinese travelers with such perks as duty-free shopping. Last month, Roth Capital Partners gaming analyst David Bain predicted the market will continue to be challenged through the end of the year. “While investors have stated a belief for a fast recovery to 2019 levels starting with Golden Week, we are less certain,” Bain said. Overhanging casino operators is the June 2022 expiration of the companies’ Macau gaming concessions, the government-issued gaming licenses. The process for relicensing is still unclear, and some analysts have hoped the procedure would be postponed until 2023 due to the COVID-19 disruptions this year. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.