GGR for February was almost MOP7.76 billion ($963.8 million) compared to the January MOP6.34 billion ($786.8 million). Year-on-year, February's GGR total rose 6.1% compared to February 2021's MOP7.31 billion ($907.17 million).
This February's result "implies mass GGR recovering to approximately 48 percent of pre–Covid levels while VIP was around 5% - mostly direct VIP," said a Tuesday note from JP Morgan Securities Ltd. The latter refers to VIP players managed by casinos directly, and not with credit issuance or collection organized by traditional junkets.
JP Morgan analysts DS Kim, Amanda Cheng and Livy Lyu added, "The question, however, is how sustainable this level of demand would be in coming months, given seemingly rising Covid-19 cases in the [Chinese] mainland, especially in Guangdong - which accounts for the majority of Macau's visitors."
The Chinese New Year, which was in pre-pandemic days a busy trading period, was celebrated in February, the same as last year.
GGR results for February 2022 take calendar-year Macau GGR down to MOP14.10 billion ($1.75 billion), a decrease of 8.0% from the first two months in 2021.
COVID-19 outbreaks in the region and locally occurred last year with tightening travel rules between Macau and mainland China. There was also volatility in GGR performance. Only one place in the world has a completely quarantine-free travel agreement with Macau, and that is China's mainland.
According to several statements made by city officials, collaboration between Macau's casino operators and government-licensed VIP junkets has been mostly suspended. This is going to impact revenue in the short term; however, long-term recovery is possible as junkets revamp their operations.
According to the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), the average occupancy rate for Macau's hotel rooms was 44.0% in January 2022. This is slightly higher than the same month in 2021, but down 10.8% compared with December.
This was due to tightening border controls between Zhuhai and Macau during the last few weeks of the month, which slowed down the encouraging visitor numbers of late December and early January. Overnight visitors decreased by 38.1% month over month.
January saw a 14.2% increase in hotel guests, to 515,000. Guests from China increased 10.8% to 418,000, while local guests rose 40.5% and 68,000, respectively. Year on year, the average stay length for guests increased by 0.1 to 1.8 nights.