Gambling revenue in the Macau market increased 435.0% year-on-year to MOP$16.04 billion (£1.56 billion/€1.83 billion/US$2.00 billion) in November, the fourth highest monthly total so far in 2023.

The figure was significantly higher than the MOP$3.00 billion in November last year, but 17.7% lower than the $19.50 billion in October 2023. However, the October total was the highest monthly amount in Macau since before Pandemic.

The consistent year-on-year growth in Macau is the result of the lifting of all Covid-19-related restrictions. Last year, casinos in Macau were forced to temporarily close while travel to and from the region was restricted.

However, these measures were lifted following extensive crackdowns on China’s “zero Covid” policy. Visitors from outside China no longer have to quarantine and flights into the country are now no longer limited.

Macau success for Melco and StudioCity in the third quarter

Melco Resorts & Entertainment, one of the leading casino operators in Macau, reported a significant increase in revenue due to the easing of restrictions in the region.

In the third quarter, revenue rose 320.6% to $1.02 billion. Casino was the catalyst for this growth, with revenue increasing 346.2% to $812.1 million.

City of Dreams in Macau focused on real estate performance and led the way with sales of $506.2 million. Also in Macau, Studio City’s revenue reached $277.7 million and Altira Macau’s revenue reached $24.2 million. Mocha and other operations in the region generated another $30.1 million in sales.

Consolidated net loss attributable to Melco was $16.3 million in the third quarter, well below $243.8 million last year.

Additionally, Melco reported positive Adjusted EBITDA of $280.6 million for the quarter. That compares with a loss of $34.9 million in the same period in 2022.

Southeast Asia, not Macau, is expected to continue driving regional gaming growth

Although Macau continues to attract visitors and generate billions of dollars in revenue, it may not be the main driver of growth in the region.

Last month, iGB examined how Southeast Asia represents the biggest opportunity in the region’s gaming galaxy. It is also considered the biggest competitive threat to established casino destinations, particularly Macau.

Industry veteran Daniel Cheng even went so far as to say that the ASEAN bloc would overtake Japan within this decade. He added that the economic power will also become smaller than just the USA, China and the European Union.