Macau’s gaming operators recorded gross gaming revenue of around MOP$1.4 billion through the first eight days of the month, down 79% year-on-year according to estimates from brokerage Bernstein.
The decline comes despite some improvement in visitor numbers – from around 5,000 vistors per day in late February to 8,000 at the start of March and 11,000 over the weekend – and a stronger showing in the VIP segment, aided by high hold.
As noted by Bernstein’s Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu, Macau’s casinos are still hamstrung by tight border restrictions and particularly the ongoing suspension of Individual Visitor Scheme and group visas.
“Visitation into Macau, while slowly improving, remains abysmal,” they said, pointing to the average 108,000 visitors that entered Macau every day in 2019.
“We estimate March potentially to be down between 75% to 80% (assuming no significant improvement in visa issuance and travel), which would imply an Average Daily Rate of MOP$165 million to MOP$210 million (US$20.5 million to US$26 million).
“Hold rate volatility could also impact our estimate. If VIP hold moderates and volumes do not improve, GGR could easily be down more than 80%. The operators we have spoken with do not see any clarity on timing of recovery at this time.”