This week’s casino news takes us on a tour of Macau and Las Vegas – the two gambling capitals of the world – to see how the coronavirus is impacting both. We’ll start in Macau where the April revenue numbers are filled with doom and gloom.
Macau Sees 97% Gaming Drop in April
We know that Macau has suffered some brutal revenue numbers in the last couple of months but many felt that with the coronavirus pandemic behind them in China (remember, their lockdown lifted over a month ago) that the revenues would start to return. So far, that hasn’t been the case.
Gross gaming numbers out of Macau's casino industry have shown a 97% drop year-over-year, which is the biggest dip in Macau’s history. They won just $95 million from players in April, which is downright shocking. They only suffered an 88% year-over-year drop in February but that was the month that casinos were forced to close for 15 days. It’s hard to believe that they were open longer in April yet suffered an even bigger drop.
As of now, players simply aren’t flocking back and operators are losing about $1 million per day as tables remain empty. We’ll see how long they can hold on but many assumed that Macau would be back to business by now.
MGM Resorts Lays Off Four Las Vegas Hotel Presidents
MGM Resorts has taken some flack for laying off a lot of blue-collar workers during the coronavirus pandemic while leaving many executives on the payroll. Well, things changed on Monday when they laid off four presidents from four separate Las Vegas properties for the time being. The Bellagio’s Randy Morton, New York-New York’s Cindy Kiser, Luxor’s Cliff Atkinson and Excalibur’s Eric Fitzgerald have all been sent home for the time being. It was the right move as the casino has already laid off or furloughed 63,000 employees. There were a lot of grumblings about the general treatment but this should allay those concerns.
The bigger issue will be how will MGM and many other Las Vegas casinos get back to business? MGM reported last week that they are losing about $270 million per month that they’re forced to stay closed. The casino and resort properties in Las Vegas have been closed since March 18th.
MGM Resorts Offers up Las Vegas Strip for NBA, WNBA Seasons
As mentioned, Las Vegas is going to need a kickstart to get back to business and one way they’re hoping to do so is by welcoming in the NBA. As you might have heard, the NBA is trying to figure out a way to finish out their season and they’ve discussed all sorts of scenarios – including playing all of the games from one location.
According to the New York Times, MGM Resorts has pitched a potential solution where players could use their strip properties for housing so that they’re quarantined off from the rest of society. By playing at Las Vegas Strip casino-resorts, the NBA players, coaches, trainers, and front office staff wouldn't have to fly, travel, etc. and they still have luxury accommodations as they play out the rest of the season.
MGM made this pitch to both the NBA and WNBA. We’ll see what both leagues plan to do in the coming days and weeks.