October 5, 2022 Macau
The embattled gambling province of Macau, which has been subject to China’s zero-Covid policy and repeated lockdowns, has posted a 35% monthly increase in GGR – totalling MOP2.96bn (US$366.3m).
Though the news is good for the industry, in what has been a very difficult year for Macau, the cold reality of the situation remains that it still finished 50% down on September 2021. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau’s (DICJ) report also showed that the third quarter has been catastrophic for Macau casinos, with MOP5.55bn being posted – when in 2021, it topped out at MOP18.76 billion.
However, there was some positive news for the province, after Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng announced that electronic visas (eVisas) and package tours will be reinstated in November 2022 – which have been suspended since January 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Where the streets have no games
An eight-day operation by Cambodian police has led 90% of the country’s illegal gambling businesses to stop trading.
On Friday, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Interior Sok Phal told Preah Sihanouk Province Governor Kuoch Chamroeun that the ministry will continue to rid the streets of illegal gambling sites, saying: “We all know that we have busted hundreds of places, and now gambling has died out, with more than 90% of illegal dens closed down.”
Over 1,000 people were arrested during the operation, and Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Khliang Huot explained that a team effort is required to fully eradicate illegal gambling in the country: “Illegal pawnshops are a source of crime, gambling and affect the livelihoods of low-income people.”