For the sixth consecutive month, gambling revenue in Macao has fallen 90% or more, after casino regulators in the only city in China where it's legal to gamble said September revenue fell to 2.2 billion patacas, the local currency. That's the equivalent of $275.6 million at current exchange rates.
The result was worse than the 86% decline analysts had been predicting just one day prior and it means the year-to-date total of 38.6 billion patacas is down over 82% compared to the same period last year.
To put that in perspective, Macao generated 38 billion patacas in a single month at the city's pinnacle in 2014.
While the September numbers were disappointing, there is hope the situation will markedly improve in October. Analysts are forecasting a one-month decline of 67%, with estimates ranging between 45% and 75%.
That's because the national Golden Week holiday begins today, Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 7. Occupancy rates at Macao hotels are also rising, with several of them fully booked for the week, including those run by Las Vegas Sands (LVS 0.26%), Melco Resorts & Entertainment (MLCO -2.37%), and Galaxy Entertainment (GXYEF -8.40%). Beijing also resumed issuing tourist visas on Sept. 23.
Yet some analysts remain concerned that China is intensifying its crackdown on offshore gambling. While there may be an increase in visits to Macao as a result, it will also cause an increase in people pulling money out of Macao.
Shares of Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts (WYNN -0.57%) are down 32% and 48%, respectively, in 2020. Macao accounts for 60% or more of their annual revenue.