Macau’s gross gaming revenue fell to its lowest daily rate since September during the past week, impacted by the SAR’s first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in well over a year.
According to brokerage Bernstein’s weekly update, GGR for the eight days from 1 to 8 August was MOP$125 million (US$15.6 million), down 51% versus July (MOP$272 million) and 84% compared with August 2019 (MOP$783 million).
Average daily volume in the VIP segment was down by around 40% compared with July and daily mass GGR by a little over 50%.
“This is the lowest daily GGR since late September,” said Bernstein analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu, pointing to calls across mainland China for a reduction in unnecessary travel due to the outbreak in Nanjing that ultimately led to Macau’s cases. In total, 17 Chinese provinces have now reported cases linked to Nanjing.
“Macau has now imposed mandatory quarantine on travelers from districts in more than 30 cities of 13 provinces in China,” they wrote.
“The daily visitor arrivals to and departures from Macau averaged only 23,000 during 1 to 7 August, which was -60% week-on-week and 54% lower than July daily average.”
August GGR has once again been downgraded, with Bernstein suggesting the current COVID situation will curtail most near-term visitation. As a result, GGR is estimated to be down in the high 70-percentage points compared to August 2019, with September also likely to be soft as the market gradually recovers.
“We expect GGR improvement beginning in the fourth quarter, but more significant travel impediment removals are not likely until next year,” the analysts said.