Macau’s gross gaming revenues neared a new weekly high for a non-holiday period of around MOP$307 million (US$38 million) per day for the seven days from 15 to 21 March, driven by ever-improving travel sentiments in mainland China, according to analysts.
Bernstein’s Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu and Louis Li said Monday that GGR during the past week climbed 13% week-on-week and 18% over February’s daily average, taking the March total so far to MOP$5.8 billion (US$725 million) at around MOP$278 million (US$35 million) per day.
“This implies last week’s run-rate was a solid MOP$307 million per day, one of the highest non-holiday reading post COVID-19, having recovered back to year-end levels (before the fresh travel curb was imposed and dragged on travel/gaming demand),” explained JP Morgan’s DS Kim and Derek Choi.
“This reflects gradually improving travel sentiments in China post Chinese New Year, as well as a return of local (Macanese) demand after recent easing of COVID-testing rules.”
The past week’s ADR is down 59% compared with a similar period in 2019 – more meaningfully comparable than March 2020 – while month to date GGR is down 67% on March 2019. Bernstein estimates that VIP volume is up by 5% to 7% on February 2021 and mass volumes by 6% to 8%.
“China has eased travel restrictions as the Jan-Feb COVID spike has come under control and Macau visitation has seen some increase,” Bernstein’s analyst team said. “We expect visitation and GGR to slowly improve during March and April,” with March GGR tipped to finish down “mid-60% versus March 2019.