Typhoon Hato wasn’t strong enough to stop Macau’s casino industry from posting its 13th straight month of year-on-year revenue gains in August.
Figures released Friday by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) show the special administrative region’s casino generated revenue of just under MOP 22.7b (US $2.8b) in August, a 20.4% rise over the same month last year.
This marks the 13th consecutive month of gains since Macau snapped its 26-month revenue losing streak last year. For the year-to-date, Macau’s total gaming revenue stands at MOP 172b ($21.3b), a 19.1% improvement over this same point in 2016.
The carnage wrought by last week’s Typhoon Hato, the worst storm to hit Macau in over half a century, was expected to negatively impact August’s revenue figure after some casinos were forced to shut down due to power outages and water supply disruptions. Pre-Hato, some analysts had suggested August’s growth rate could top 25%.
Post-Hato, Macau’s casino operators have been putting their best corporate face forward, including pledging a combined MOP 165m ($23m) to the community’s ongoing relief efforts. This sum includes MOP 60m from Galaxy Entertainment Group and the family of Galaxy chairman Lui Che Woo, MOP 30m each from Melco Resorts & Entertainment and MGM China, and MOP 5m from leading junket operator SunCity Group.
The largest donation (MOP 65m) came via Sands China and the family of Las Vegas Sands supremo Sheldon Adelson, who also pledged to set up a fund to ensure the continuing education of the children of the 10 Macau residents who lost their lives as a result of Hato.
As bad as Macau’s situation was, the worst may not be over. Macau’s weathermen are keeping a close eye on a new tropical depression that is moving towards the Chinese mainland from the Philippine island of Luzon. The Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau believes the storm will most likely hit Macau early Sunday morning, although it suggested there was a “low probability” of the Bureau hoisting Signal No. 8, its most severe weather warning.