Typhoon Closures Cause Poor Month For Macau Casinos


Macau, the world’s gambling hotspot, suffered one of its worst months in years after a typhoon caused the closure of numerous casinos, some for more than a day.

The storm meant that casinos were forced to close their doors for the very first time since 2002, the year when gambling licenses were initially handed out.

Early estimates from industry expert Grant Govertsen suggests that the shutdown during this period – which lasted approximately 48 hours – will have cost the region’s casinos as much as 1.5 billion patacas (approximately $186m) in lost revenues.

Wider Economic Causes

This period of inclement weather, however, is not the only thing that has hampered Macau’s growth in recent months.

A continually weakening yuan, the continued slow down of China’s economy, and numerous trade issues with the United States, have all combined, resulting in the region struggling to reach the economic heights of years gone by.

Positive Broader Picture For Casino Revenue

Of course, to say that Macau’s casinos are underperforming only reveals part of the picture. Gaming revenues in September still rose by 2.8%, although it should be noted that this is the weakest level of growth since 2016.

Also, the casinos are hopeful that Golden Week – the longest annual period of vacation for nearly all Japanese and Chinese workers – will help to revive Macau’s gambling fortunes.

Each year people descend upon the region to spend their cash in the hopes of returning home financially victorious.

However, industry experts seem split on whether or not Golden Week will bring in additional revenue, or be yet another disappointment. While hotel bookings have not been as high as in previous years, some people are suggesting that huge numbers of people could come to Macau in the hopes of supplementing their wages, given the poor performance of China’s economy of late.

Margaret Huang, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said: “Positive drivers for Macau’s Golden Week include the fact that Macau has a great appeal given that it has better connectivity, ease of access, and weather conditions are now milder than they were in September.” She added: “Macau’s gaming revenue for all of October could surpass 28 billion patacas (S$4.8 billion) for the first time since 2014.