Macau Casinos, Malls Show Sign of Life As Shoppers Start To Return
Many attributed this resurgence of shoppers to the fact that the local government started handing out electronic vouches in order to jumpstart and stimulate the local economy. Vouchers amounting to as much as $1000 are being given to shoppers which they can use on local shops.
Macau Starts Recovery From Pandemic
These vouchers are given only to eligible residents of Macau. This will be available in two tranches. The first tranche amounts to 3000 Macanese Pataca which residents can use from May to July. The second tranche amounts to 5000 Macanese Pataca which can be used from August to December.
Following the distribution of these vouchers, residents started to flock back to malls and shopping districts. This vouchers is the government’s strategy of once again stimulating its local economy.
Macau is known as the Las Vegas of the East. The city is known for its neon lights and buzzing local economy thanks to casinos, entertainment spots, and shopping malls. However, the coronavirus pandemic brought its local economy to a screeching halt after strict lockdown protocols were imposed.
JLL Property consultant Oliver Tong says, “Consumption coupons did help. When you go to casino malls, including The Venetian and Galaxy, during the weekend, the footfall is tremendous.”
It appears that the government’s strategy is working as local shops and mall activities are starting to return to normal. Mr. Tong added that the retail and hospitality industry is performing quite well now compared to what it was a couple of months ago.
The Worst Has Passed
In April, Macau reported its worst ever record in terms of gross gambling revenue. Because of the pandemic, the region’s gross gaming revenue dropped by as much as 95%. In monetary terms, this amounts to as much as $95 million, and that is just in a single month.
This massive drop is the worst in Macau’s history. It has surpassed the 88% drop in revenue which happened in February of this year as well. Analysts originally estimate that the revenue will drop only by 94%, it appears that they have underestimated the impact brought about by the pandemic.
Even after the reopening of several casinos, operators are still reporting daily loss of about $1 million a day. Despite operations have already restarted, casino tables are still nearly empty since people are still anxious about the spread of the virus.
Moreover, many countries around the world still impose strict airline travel. This results in almost zero tourist activities in Macau.
Macau, considering its close proximity to China, is one of the first regions to report coronavirus cases.
However, due to strict lockdown protocols imposed by the local government, the region was quick to contain the spread of the virus. The local government is hoping that the pandemic will soon slowdown so that tourists can start to arrive again.
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