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Study confirms high-end gamblers maintained a Macau presence during COVID-19

A new study released by Macau Research Center has found that 60% of those who visited Macau during the COVID-19 pandemic did so for the purpose of gambling, with each willing to spend around MOP$87,000 on average.

The study largely covers the period from late March onwards through which Guangdong Province imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on mainland visitors returning from Macau, resulting in visitor numbers plunging to just 11,000 in April, down from 3.4 million in April 2019.

The research center surveyed 103 visitors between March to May, of which 93.2% were from mainland China. With the threat of a 14-day quarantine upon leaving Macau, research showed those mainlanders chose to stay longer, with an average stay of 6.7 days. Around 59% stayed more than five days.

The study also found that 59% of those surveyed visited Macau for gaming, while 87% had conducted gaming activities. Their gaming budget ranged from MOP$1,000 to MOP$500,000, with an average of MOP$87,000.

“Compared to the mass market, the spending decisions of this group of high-end customers may be less influenced by macroeconomic and social sentiment,” the study said.

Aside from expenditure on gaming, the visitors spent another MOP$45,549 during their visits on average, mostly on dining, shopping and hospitality.

The study also found the arrivals had visited Macau an average of 5.8 times in the last 12 months, while 83% of them had visited Macau at least three times in the last 12 months.

Over 70% of visitors were satisfied with their visit and approved of Macau’s preventive measures against COVID-19.

The Macau Research Center believes the results show that Macau has a group of loyal, high-end customers and suggests gaming-related businesses should identify and maintain close relationships with this group in order to provide a stronger buffer in the event of future downturns.

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