The Lunar New Year holidays typically attracts record number of tourists to Macau and no more was that evident for Macau’s casinos than earlier this month. According to Portuguese news agency Lusa, gambling went into overdrive in Macau in the first week of February, culminating in a total revenue haul of MOP 8.3 billion, which is about USD$1.04 billion based on current exchange rates.
The casinos actually got off to a slow start to the holidays, but once the tourists and visitors arrived, the numbers picked up steam before closing out at that massive haul, which actually eclipsed what the casinos did last year when it reported earning MOP7.2 billion in the first seven days of the Lunar New Year holidays.
Overall, the run rate in the first seven days of the Lunar New Year amounted to MOP1.39 billion a day ($174 million), right in line with what analysts had projected for the month of February. The early spike in revenues should also bode well for the month, with prognosticators expecting to see annual growth of around 14 percent to 19 percent for the month.
Last year, Macau’s casinos reported earning revenues in excess of MOP27 billion and this year, that figure is expected to breach the MOP30 billion threshold, a remarkable figure given that February is short-changed by the sheer lack of days it has on the calendar, compared to all other months.
At the very least, February should be a nice rebound month for the city’s casinos, which had to face a less-than-stellar start to 2014 with sub-par January revenue numbers that saw revenue numbers increase by only seven percent, well short of the 15 percent growth being thrown out before all the numbers were added up.
Turns out, nothing cures Macau’s ails quite like the Lunar New Year holidays.