Mass Baccarat Yielded 60% of Macau’s GGR in April

Mass Baccarat Yielded 60% of Macau’s GGR in April

Macau’s gambling market is experiencing some tough periods because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The special administrative region’s gross gaming revenues have been steadily falling because of the safety measures, with analysts expecting the situation to not get better anytime soon. Despite the hurdles, the industry continues to see mass baccarat as the most favored game in Macau.

Mass Baccarat Contributed 60% of the April GGR

While the overall gambling revenues continue to drop, baccarat continues to dominate the majority of the market. DICJ reported that the game was singlehandedly responsible for 60.3% of the GGR. This follows a tendency that has seen interest in baccarat explode in the last few years.

In the final quarter of 2019, mass baccarat was responsible for more than 42% of the GGR. This number improved by almost 10% in 2021 when its share of GGR sat at 50.6%. Analysts have reported a remarkable trend of baccarat revenues rising, which seems to continue in April 2022.

Mass and VIP baccarat excluded, the first quarter of 2022 yielded $282 million in GGR. About half of this revenue was attributed to slot machines ($136 million). The dominance of baccarat led to a slight decrease in the number of functioning gaming tables and slot machines.

VIP Baccarat Fell Out of Favor

Despite the rising interest in baccarat and its increasingly high dominance of the market, the COVID-19 hurdles have led to lower VIP baccarat results in March. They showed that VIP baccarat revenues have yielded the industry $599 million for the first quarter of the year – a number that is significantly lower than previous years and occupies only 27% of the total GGR. This number demonstrated a 38.3% year-on-year drop compared to 2021 and a 44.7% decline compared to 2019’s final quarter.

Multiple factors contributed to the suboptimal revenues in the first quarter of 2022. One of them is the aforementioned COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to restrict travel and force people to isolate themselves. China’s strict and controversial measures against the pandemic have led to the quarantine of key cities. Analysts predict that an outbreak in Macau or its neighboring Guangdong province may cause the former’s borders to be closed, thus hurting the gambling industry even more.

Other developments have also hurt Macau’s VIP baccarat and overall gambling industry. One of them is the arrest of Alvin Chau, ex-CEO of the junket Suncity Group. This eventually led to the shutdown of multiple Macau junkets. The Suncity situation also prompted a review of former Suncity Group partners in other countries.

Additionally, China’s vow to curb cross-border gambling has also affected Macau.

Author: Ian Douglas