Golden Week in Macau gives casino revenues a big boost, even in aftermath of Typhoon Hato

  • Weekend visits increased 11.6% year-on-year
  • Hotels fully booked weeks in advance for 8-day holiday

October Golden Week has drawn to a close in China after eight days of national holiday for residents, and the hotels and casinos of Macau are celebrating a surge in visitor numbers which has given growing casino profits a further boost.

It was a Golden Week for casinos in Macau at the start of October.
It was a Golden Week for casinos in Macau at the start of October.

Despite the additional day in the holiday period, the week started slowly for Macau with a slight decline in overall visitor numbers, reports GGR Asia.

However, guests started filling out hotels and casinos from Friday and stayed for the weekend, ensuring that Golden Week was a huge success in China’s only legal gambling district.

Visitors flock to Macau for gambling weekend

Golden Week fell between October 1-8 this year, with an extra day added to account for the Mid-Autumn Festival on October 4. By September, the Macau Tourism Office reported that 80% of the city’s hotels were already booked. However, visitor numbers actually slowed during the first four days of the week, representing a drop of about 2% compared with 2016.

On October 6, a Friday, Macau officials reported a 36.7% year-on-year rise in tourists – including a 38.6% jump in visitors from the Chinese mainland. This swung the 2% decline around, and over seven of the eight days Macau benefitted from an 11.6% average rise in footfall.

When tourism in Macau peaks, so should gaming revenues.

Golden Week beats expert predictions

“This Golden Week will be the best in recent years,” predicted Macau travel agent Versiglia Chong last month.

Analysts had previously put a modest 4-5% figure on expected growth during the Golden Week period, Bloomberg reports, so casinos will be extremely pleased with the actual boost to visitor numbers of more than 11%.

October revenue figures will reveal how those increased visitor numbers translated across casino revenues, but it seems unlikely this month will break Macau’s profit streak.

September’s profits are not yet available, but should represent the 14th month of continued revenue growth across Macau’s casino operators.

Typhoon fails to halt incredible profit growth

Officials have confirmed that revenues in August still represent a profit for the region, despite the devastating blow of Typhoon Hato which brought deadly flooding to parts of the city.

Casinos and hotels played a crucial role in rebuilding the entertainment district and getting casino doors open again after the disaster, including donating millions in relief funds and supplying their workers as aid volunteers.

Thanks to the efforts of these businesses, Macau’s main revenue stream – gambling and associated tourism – was able to start earning again within a few days of the tragedy.

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