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Golden Week figures

With the festive season over, the number of visitors was higher than expected. More visitors came from the mainland compared to the same period in 2019. Brokerages point to the best figures for the gambling industry "in four years"

1,357,064 visitors entered Macau during Golden Week, which ran from 10 to 17 February. The daily average was 169,631, well above the authorities’ initial estimates (120,000).
Around 76 per cent came from mainland China (1,034,503), 19 per cent from Hong Kong (253,453) and the remaining five per cent from abroad (69,108).

It should be noted that the average daily number of visitors entering from the Mainland was higher than in the last pre-pandemic (2019), with Hong Kong recovering 98 per cent and foreign markets 79 per cent.

Hotel occupancy

Hotel occupancy reached 95.2 per cent during the festive period. The fourth day, on 13 February, reached 98 percent – one day after Macau had its second highest number of visitors ever, with 217,448 tourists arriving.

Accommodation was more expensive than last year, with the average standing at 1,922 patacas, an annual increase of 24.3 per cent.

Results of the game

Macau’s daily gross gaming revenue run rate during part of the Chinese New Year “is expected to have hit the billion-plus patacas mark for the first time in more than four years,” said JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd on Monday.

Citigroup had estimated before the festive period a daily turnover of 900 million patacas between 12 and 17 February. Even though the number of visitors exceeded expectations, they maintained their estimate for the month of February, with gross gaming revenues of around 19.5 billion patacas.

The two institutions said that, based on the data they have, gross revenue in the first 18 days of February was 12.5 billion patacas, or 694 million patacas per day. This translates into “a recovery of around 75 per cent compared to the same period in 2019,” noted JP Morgan.

However, the broker recorded a record number of bets on the premium mass market during Golden Week, reaching 23.7 million patacas, an increase of 49 per cent compared to the level reached in 2019.

Meanwhile, the number of premium mass players stood at 777, a decline of 16 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic level.

Compared to the last Golden Week, the number of premium players increased by more than 53 per cent, while the average bet remained practically unchanged – almost 30,000 patacas.

Analysts George Choi and Ryan Cheung noted that these figures implied that the quality of the players remained “extremely high”, as the average bet per player was 77 per cent higher than in 2019.

In addition, Macau saw a record count of 41 high rollers, along with an average minimum bet of around 2,764 patacas for the premium mass segment and the largest single bet since the reopening of borders to exceed 800,000 patacas.

“Based on the survey results, we expect that the increase in the number of visitors to Macau during Chinese New Year Golden Week will not materially dilute the quality of players in the premium mass segment,” said the Citigroup analysts.

In terms of market share, Galaxy took first place in the Citigroup study, capturing 28 per cent of the bets. Galaxy Macau’s Horizon room continues to take the most bets, reaching a record of 4.3 million patacas in February.

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