Financial reserves from tourism help Macau through pandemic

The paper was published by the University of Macau's Faculty of Business Administration.
The paper was published by the University of Macau's Faculty of Business Administration.

Financial reserves obtained from tourism placed Macau in a favourable position to see through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Macau.- A paper published by the University of Macau’s Faculty of Business Administration found that Macau was in a unique position to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic due to its financial reserves built up through tourism.

The paper noted that Macau holds fiscal and foreign reserves representing 40 per cent of GDP. With zero public debt in the city, it held US$72.3 billion in 2019.

Those reserves proved beneficial when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, helping the government to exert leverage over the casino market and quickly implement lockdown and preventative measures.

The researchers wrote: “Macao’s rapid casino growth trajectory and top-down approach to governance has meant there has been limited public consultation although greater public and private collaboration is suggested for a more effective COVID-19 exit strategy.

Securing annual fiscal surpluses to government coffers through the heightened financial liquidity performance of the casino sector placed Macau in a unique position to be economically resilient to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

In January, Macau’s gaming industry saw its best monthly performance since the Covid-19 pandemic began with a 2.6 per cent increase in gross gaming revenue (GGR) compared to the previous month.

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Covid-19 Macau casinos