Gaming generated more than 10.1 billion patacas for Macao in the first quarter of this year, according to a local media report citing figures from the Financial Services Bureau.
The sum represents an almost 16 percent increase compared to the same period last year and is nearly a fifth of the 50.9 billion patacas the government hopes to collect in 2023.
The figures come in the wake of reports putting April’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) at 14.72 billion patacas – a jump of 450 percent year-on-year. Though that sum is still well down on typical pre-pandemic totals in excess of 20 billion patacas a month, it is the highest recorded since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Analysts say Macao is capable of generating GGR of 168 billion patacas this year – comfortably more than the government target of 130 billion. Accumulated GGR so far in 2023 already represents 38 percent of the official goal.
However, others have sounded cautionary notes, saying that Macao’s labour shortage is hindering its growth.
Macao’s sluggish approval system for foreign workers, as well as intense competition for hospitality staff from other regional destinations, were cited in one report as speed bumps to full recovery.