what was the world’s top gambling destination in 2023?

In the first half of 2023, Macau’s gross gaming revenue reached almost $10 billion, giving this Special Administrative Region of China the title of the world’s leading gambling destination! Macau, whose casinos generated an average of $2 billion in monthly revenues in the first half of the current year, has thus managed to reclaim its belt with flying colors. By way of comparison, in the USA, Nevada casinos achieved slightly more than $7.5 billion in the first half of 2023.

Macau as the world’s gambling hub

After a complicated period due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the full recovery of Macau’s gaming industry seems truer than ever. China’s autonomous region, which welcomed no fewer than 1.9 million visitors in July 2023, has returned to its pre-epidemic visitor levels (2 million visits in July 2019).

While tourists account for almost 95% of total visits to Macau, High Rollers seem less involved than in the past. Prior to the pandemic, bets placed by high rollers in the junkets VIPs were the lifeblood of the Macau gaming machine. Now it’s tourists from mainland China (who wager between $1,500 and $2,500 during their stay) who are replacing the high rollers of yesteryear; they have become the key factor in the growth of Macau’s casino gaming market.

As a result, Macau regained its leadership position and once again overtook Nevada. But it wasn’t until the Chinese government lifted pandemic-related restrictions that gambling resumed. As mentioned above, Macau’s $10 billion in revenues now pits it against Nevada’s $7.5 billion, testifying to the renewed power of the gambling industry in the former Portuguese enclave, reinforced by revenues amounting to $2 billion in July 2023.

Macau’s leading casino operators return to profitability

According to the Wall Street JournalU.S. casino operators experienced a painful first half of 2023 in the world’s leading gambling destination. At the same time, after numerous losses in 2022, Sands China and MGM China returned to profit, to the tune of $175 million and $105 million respectively. As for Wynn Macau, it was not to be outdone, recording a profit of $61 million in the second quarter of 2023, which made up for the losses conceded in the first quarter.

Despite this good news for Macau, visits from abroad are a major concern: they now account for just 5% of total visits, 95% of them from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Kayleigh Williams