The Specia Administrative Region government of Macau has submitted its forecast for next year’s budget. According to the local government, Macau should be able to generate around MOP$130 billion ($16 billion) in gross gaming revenue, or so the Legislative Assembly expects as per the latest submission by the government. It’s also the exact same amount that the government expected to generate in 2021 and 2022.
Elusive But Feasible Target in 2023
According to the new budget submission, there are all the reasons for the SAR to be able to bolster its gaming revenue. In an outline to the Legislative Assembly, the proposal states that the return of mainland travelers and the new eVisa system will significantly boost the tourism industry, with more visitors coming to Macau over the next month. The overall gross gaming revenue for next year should therefore not miss the $16 billion mark.
This is the third time, as mentioned, that the government of Macau has pinned the estimated gross gaming revenue at $16 billion per annum, but the previous two years were fraught with challenges, COVID-19 outbreaks, and a very strong opposition against international travel by the mainland.
As a result, results in 2021 ended with MOP86.6 million or $10.8 billion over the period, and then in 2022, the SAR generated MOP35.7 billion or $4.43 billion. This is the result for the months through October including. Now, though, gaming concessionaires are under a lot of pressure to make sure they deliver on a promise to make the SAR a better and more attractive place to tourists.
The onus is largely on gambling companies to continue boosting their revenue, but the mainland government has made it known that it would prefer if the people who spend money in casinos are in fact overseas high rollers.
A Good Argument for Strong Recovery
Pursuing a GGR of $16 billion has not been that hard, as the SAR has so far shown resilience and understanding insofar as missing those targets. However, it’s possible that the store of goodwill is running out and concessionaires would have to do better.
The names of the companies to retain their operational rights in Macau are yet to be published, with seven bidders now contesting for six available positions in the SAR. Macau’s $16 billion target doesn’t seem too far-fetched presently, though, as tourism recovery and the overall resilience in withstanding new COVID-19 outbreaks have given hopes to analysts that the SAR could be making a recovery in 2023 indeed. Pre-pandemic levels are still a long way off, but there is a glimmer of hope, nevertheless.