Macau gaming operators will likely see much of their remaining casino business vanish overnight after Guangdong Province announced on Thursday new quarantine measures for all arrivals from Macau and Hong Kong, according to Credit Suisse.
In a research note, analysts Kenneth Fong, Lok Kan Chan and Rebecca Law observed that, under the new restriction, Chinese gamblers will need to be quarantined after they return to China through the Gongbei border gate. As a result, many had already begun returning home as of Thursday afternoon.
“Currently, big players coming from China can still visit Macau through business visas or unexpired individual visitor scheme visas that have been issued earlier. This has helped contribute around MOP$150 million to MOP$200 million a day of GGR or 20% to 30% of the pre-virus level,” the analysts said. “As air traffic has pretty much closed, almost all visitors are entering Macau through the Gongbei gate from Guangdong.
“Under the new restriction effective [Friday], Chinese gamblers will need to be quarantined after they return to China through Gongbei gate.
“From our on the ground check with junkets and marketing hosts, most of the players who are in Macau are currently leaving Macau and cancelling their room bookings over the next few days. This is because they want to avoid being quarantined when they return to China.
“Near term, we believe that the GGR towards the end of March and April would be dismal until the restriction is lifted.”
Credit Suisse also estimated that the new quarantine measures could delay any potential easing of current restrictions at the border between Macau and mainland China due to an escalation of coronavirus cases globally, putting further downside risk on operators for FY20.