Macau’s visitor tally for 2020 could see a year-on-year decline of over 90%, having already witnessed a decline of 87% in the first eight months, according to the Macau Government Tourism Organization.
This Dossier results from the “Life After POGOs” editorial project by Asia Gaming Brief which culminated with a pop-up digital forum on 9th December to discuss potentials ramifications in the industry.
Taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) increased to PHP7.18 billion (US$151 million) in 2020, despite the suspension of operations last year due to community lockdowns and the flight of many firms.
Information from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) indicates that a total of 120 hotels and guesthouses were open for business in December 2020, with the average occupancy rate of guest rooms at 53.1%, representing a month-to-month growth of 9.1 percent.
The world is bouncing back, or at least coming to grips with the fact that going forward not much will be the same as before. Commendably, this industry quickly understood the need to adapt to a new normal, and that the days of targeting the low hanging fruit of the VIP sector are gone.
Over the years, many of the answers have been remarkably prescient in their forecasts for the near-term direction of Asia’s gaming industry. However, we can safely say that no one came anywhere close to guessing what 2020 may have had in store.
While nowhere in the world has escaped the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, Macau has been hit harder than most, with forecasts for gross domestic product to shrink more than 50 percent this year.