Probability of Macau Casinos Steering Clear of Non-Gaming Expenditure Trigger is High

As of November 16, 2023, Macau casinos have been experiencing a steady recovery in business following China President Xi Jinping’s removal of the “zero-COVID” pandemic policy. This controversial program had previously enforced lockdowns and delayed the return to normal life in the mainland and in China’s two Special Administrative Regions (SARs).

In the first full year after the policy was lifted, Macau casinos have seen a resurgence in traveler visits and high roller activity, particularly benefiting major operators such as Sands, Galaxy, Wynn, MGM, SJM, and Melco. The gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the year through October has reached approximately MOP148.5 billion (US$18.47 billion), marking a 316% recovery from the previous year, yet remaining 40% below 2019 numbers.

With this recovery, casino operators have collectively agreed to invest about $13.5 billion in non-gaming projects as part of their 10-year gaming licenses. However, if the gaming business reaches certain benchmarks, such as winning MOP180 billion ($22.4 billion) in a given year through 2027, the non-gaming spending requirement jumps by 20%.

Despite the recent surge in casino revenue, Macau SAR Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng stated that he does not expect the casinos to reach the MOP180 billion threshold this year. However, the recovery trend of Macau’s gaming industry suggests that there is a possibility of reaching this mark in the near future.

As the recovery continues, it is important to note that the non-gaming investment requirements have been allocated based on market share, with each major operator having significant financial obligations. These developments are significant for sports bettors seeking insights into the future of Macau’s casino industry.

For more updates and analysis on Macau’s gaming industry and how it impacts the betting landscape, stay tuned for more expert insights.


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