Is Macau Finished? Only Recovery Can Tell

Published July 26, 2020 by Lee R

Is Macau Finished? Only Recovery Can Tell

Macau's new leader calls for external solutions to the greater economic impact of Covid on Macau.

No one thought that it was going to be easy, but Macau's report on the post-Covid shutdown landscape nonetheless provides the necessary dose of reality to move forward in that region.

New Leader's Warning

Macau's Chief Executive who is in charged of the economic region and the hoped for recovery Ho Iat Seng delivered the sobering warning of a continued recession in China's gambling mecca for the entirety of H2 as a result of the virus' impact:

“Multiple data indicate that the Macau economy has (experienced) a substantial fall in the first half of this year. The general strength of the economy has declined.”

Losses Across the Board

No industries have been spared, according to Macau's new manager. A diversity of challenges are set to put undue pressure on the economy to perform in H2, with Ho Iat Seng preaching a form of temperance indicated to the Economic Development Council plenary meeting he was presiding over.

End of Gaming?

The chief executive further suggested what many in the region probably never hoped to hear: a solution to Macau’s over-reliance on the gaming sector:

“We must expedite the contemplation on a concrete direction and measures to improve the economic structure of Macau.”

Recovery Economic Model

Ho Iat Seng quoted the principles of the One-Country, Two-Systems to prepare Macau for “development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.”

Non-Gaming Partner Provinces

This shifting of focus for Macau recovery into a metropolitan relationship with the other large metropolitan areas in the immediate region was a glaring notion that Ho Iat Seng could not float subtly: with Macau being the only province where gaming is permitted, and having relied heavily on gaming for the vast bulk of its revenues and commerce in the global island gambling mecca, Ho Iat Seng is suggesting an economic recovery solution in Macau that is not rooted in resuscitating the gaming landscape.


After an April which was the worst month in the history of Macau casino, who turned in -97% in Gross Income, and a new leader as of last December suggesting a new commerce model cooperating with other principalities, the Covid shutdowns appear to have caused permanent damage to that once thriving, longstanding gaming market.

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