Asia round-up: Macau’s receding revenue, Lo appointed & Melco – Gambling Insider

Macau August GGR down 51% 
Macau has reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of MOP$2.18bn (US$270m) for August 2022, a 51% decline from the prior-year period, when GGR was MOP$4.44bn. 
The figure, from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, does however represent a huge change from last month’s total of MOP$398m, the region’s worst monthly performance since the pandemic began, with Covid-19 restrictions taking their toll. The total represented a 95% drop in GGR year-on-year and continued a general downward trend. 
Despite GGR falling 51% from August 2021, the downward sequential trend has seemingly halted for August 2022, with the monthly rise providing at least some positivity for interested parties. 
August’s figure of MOP$2.18bn does, however, represent the second-lowest total of 2022 so far, after July’s MOP$398m. This figure was almost as high as June’s MOP$2.47bn, the next-lowest figure on the list, but it is some way off February’s MOP$7.75bn; the highest total of 2022 so far. 
February is the only month of the year so far not to report a year-on-year decline, with GGR climbing 6% from February 2021. 
The low revenue figures and declines in 2022 have been attributed partly to a decrease in cross-border and cross-provincial travel from mainland China, as a result of China’s Zero Covid policy. 
GGR now stands at MOP$28.85bn for the year so far, with that figure representing a 53% year-on-year decline. At this stage last year, Macau GGR was MOP$61.9bn. 
Andrew Lo formally appointed Chairman of LET Group, once Suncity Group 
Andrew Lo has now been officially appointed Chairman of LET Group, the ex-junket formerly known as Suncity Group. 
Lo’s appointment comes into effect on 1 September 2022; he is already an executive director and shareholder in the company, acquiring controlling shares in the firm earlier this year. 
In his new role, Lo will earn HK$7m ($898,000) per year, with payments dating back to 31 December 2021. 
In its H1 2022 report, Suncity posted a loss of HK$386m for the first six months of the year, over HK$100m more than the HK$251m it lost in H1 2021. 
Since its business operations as a junket were all but diminished following the arrest of former CEO Alvin Chau and the outlawing of junkets in Macau, Suncity (now LET Group) has shifted more towards casino operations. 
Melco Resorts and Entertainment repurchases 85 million shares off-market 
Melco Resorts and Entertainment has completed an off-market repurchase of 85 million shares.  
In its listing, Melco claims the shares were brought back for a total of US$152.7m. Shares repurchased included 10 million of its ordinary shares and 25 million American depositary shares.  
Melco claims the repurchase would see Melco Leisure’s holding in Melco Resorts fall from 56% to 50%. 
The news follows the operator’s Q2 results, which saw revenue plunge 48%. Total operating revenue fell to $296.1m, a significant decline of 48%. This poor result was attributed to travel restrictions and business closures, as a result of a surge in Covid cases in Macau and mainland China. 
Melco is listed on the US stock exchange and has recently been deemed at risk of being delisted from US stock exchanges, with its business primarily taking place in China. 
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