Macau’s gross gaming revenue is trending 23% lower than in January 2021 through the first half of February at around MOP$3 billion (US$375 million) or MOP$200 million (US$25 million) per day, according to analysts.
With visitor arrival numbers still down 71.6% year-on-year to just 62,984 over the first five days of the Chinese New Year Golden Week holiday, the last week has seen GGR slow to just MOP$190 million (US$23.8 million) per day. The figure represents an 83% decline versus February 2019 – considered a better comparison than February 2020 due to COVID-19.
There is, however, room for some optimism over the second half of the month.
“The coming week should be better, for what it’s worth,” said JP Morgan’s DS Kim and Derek Choi in a Tuesday note.
“As always, we believe demand will start to accelerate from Day 4 or 5 of the Spring Festive season and into the so-called ‘tail-end’ period (which lasts for 5+ days after the official holiday).
“We’d hope to see a meaningful uptick for the coming week’s data, but visibility remains extremely low amidst ongoing travel curbs and it wouldn’t really move the needle for investment sentiment.”
Monday visitor arrivals fell slightly compared with Sunday, down from 17,357 to 15,214 – representing a 43.9% year-on-year decline versus the 5th day of last year’s CNY Golden Week.
Brokerage Bernstein has revised its February GGR estimates downward to a low 70% decline, but noted, “much will depend on what happens in the 2nd half of CNY and the rest of the month, which typically sees stronger results than prior to CNY and first few days of the holiday.
“Macau will continue to experience headwinds during 1H 2021, but we see a strong improvement beginning in 2H as COVID-related travel constraints begin to fall away.”