Continued recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic saw Macau casino GGR rise 43.7 percent year-on-year in 2021, though the number is still less than a third of pre-pandemic GGR of 2019.
According to data from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, December 2021 GGR came in at MOP7.96 billion ($991.2 million), rising only 1.8 percent from the prior-year period.
Analysts from Bernstein said this was better than expectations due to improving visitation and mass GGR in the last week of December.
Recent reports indicate that the city’s daily visitors recovered to over 40,000 visitors per day, and hotel occupancy edged up to 80 percent over the Christmas holidays.
Analysts from J.P Morgan have tipped for further recovery of Macau GGR in 2022, reaching up to approximately US$18.5 billion – half of pre-pandemic levels, driven by further travel easing and a Greater Bay travel bubble in the first quarter.
Bernstein made a similar prediction, with 2022 GGR expected to reach around 59 percent of 2019 levels.
The Macau government was a little more pessimistic – with 2022 expected GGR to reach $16 billion in the year.
Though these predictions were made before the emergence of the Omicron strain.
It remains to be seen what the impact of the Omicron strain will have on travel and border controls, though Macau has recently tightened its quarantine requirement for a number of countries and reimposed mandatory quarantine for a sizable list of cities in Mainland China.
Earlier this year, 40 percent of respondents in a survey conducted by AGB said it would take around 2-3 years for Macau GGR to return to pre-pandemic levels.