Macau casino revenues down 80%, is it time for China to legalize online gaming?

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In March, total gambling revenue (GGR) at Macau casinos fell by 80% year-on-year to MOP 5.26 billion or $660 million, $660 million. At the same time, accumulated GGR decreased by 60% compared to last year , to MOP 30.49 for the first quarter of 2020. While the figure is 69% higher than in February, the coronavirus outbreak has had a detrimental effect on the region, which has 41 reported cases of the virus. According to Jason Ader, CEO of independent sponsorship and buyout company SpringOwl Asset Management, given the overall growth in online gaming, this type of gambling should be legalized in Macau to make up for such huge losses.
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“Why not allow licensees in Macau to connect with these customers in mainland China? The government will obviously monitor, track, regulate and control this, but at least then it has the potential to tax and regulate online. Let Macau’s mass market and premium mass market play online in the current environment and this loss of tax revenue will be mitigated!” Ader does not believe the March income figures were a surprise to the Chinese government, given the strict travel measures. This includes a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving in Macau if they have traveled outside of Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China in the past two weeks, with its borders closed to anyone arriving from outside those regions.
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