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Macau back to number 1 casino ahead of Las Vegas

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HomeMacao back to number 1 casino ahead of Las Vegas

Macau back to number 1 casino ahead of Las Vegas

Since the start of the international Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, Macau has been a shadow of its former self.

Nonetheless, the city has been gradually recovering since last January.

At last, it seems to have regained a certain cruising speed. Indeed, we’ve just learned that the 6 concessionaires in the former Portuguese colony generated cumulative gross gaming revenue of over $10 billion in the first half of 2023.

By comparison, Las Vegas casinos recorded just $7.5 billion.

As a result, Macau has once again become the true casino capital of the world.

Strict restrictions to combat Covid-19 hurt casinos

Since Macau was handed back to China, local authorities have welcomed foreign casino operators. Since then, the local market has exploded, surpassing that of Las Vegas in the 2010s.

Nevertheless, the situation became very complicated during the international Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Extremely strict restrictions were put in place to combat the health crisis. These severely affected tourism.

Macau is home to only 670,000 inhabitants, not enough to support the local casino industry.

As the main restrictions lasted until early 2023, gross gaming revenue was very low for many months. As a result, this special administrative region logically fell back behind Las Vegas.

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2019 levels not expected to be reached until 2024

Over the first 6 months of the year, Macau’s gross gaming revenue thus passed the symbolic $10 billion mark, allowing it to once again become the true casino capital of the world.

For the time being, most analysts believe that the levels of 2019, before the health crisis, will not be reached by the end of 2023. For that, we’ll have to wait until at least 2024.

We can therefore expect growth to continue in the coming months. The gap between Macau and Las Vegas should therefore continue to widen in the future.

Big players return to Macau

Macau’s return to international prominence is no mean feat, given that the VIP sector, once number 1, is now a mere shadow of its former self. Indeed, the lucrative junkets industry has all but disappeared.

So it’s only the mainstream players who have made this impressive rise in Macau casinos possible.

But there are signs that the big players are gradually returning to the former Portuguese colony. At least, that’s what the figures for the current month of August tell us. If the VIPs finally return en masse, it’s a sure thing: Las Vegas won’t be able to catch up.

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