Macau’s daily gross gaming revenue for the first nine days of January grew 4% versus the daily rate in December, aided by increasing visitation from mainland China, according to a weekly channel check by brokerage Bernstein.
Despite rising concerns over COVID-19 outbreaks in three Chinese provinces as well as in Hong Kong, total visitor arrivals and departures reached a combined 63,000 per day between 1 and 5 January, reflecting a 5% increase over the previous week.
As a result, channel checks show Macau’s GGR between 1 to 9 January at MOP$2.4 billion (US$300 million) with an average daily rate (ADR) of MOP$266 million (US$33 million) – down 67% versus January 2019 but 4% higher than in December 2021. The ADR was, however, 9% lower than in the final week of December.
VIP average daily rolling volume is said to be down 50% on December with most of the revenue coming via VIP Direct, while daily mass revenue grew by between 10% and 15% on December.
Bernstein’s analysts, who now predict the borders with Hong Kong could remain shut until Q2, are forecasting January GGR to finish down 9% compared with December and 71% lower than January 2019 – although there is room for some upside from Chinese New Year depending on the regional COVID-19 situation.
“The wild card will be any travel restrictions related to COVID outbreaks,” they wrote.
“Chinese New Year in China will run from 31 January to 6 February this year (the weeks leading into CNY are typically soft). Some operators are reporting ‘good’ forward bookings for the CNY holiday, but visitation (and GGR) will be contingent on keeping travel open during the holiday period.”