Macau’s gross gaming revenue is on track to record a 30% month-on-month increase in September, despite suffering a noticeable slowdown over the past seven days following the recent Mid-Autumn Festival.
According to brokerage Bernstein’s weekly GGR update, gaming revenues fell 20% week-on-week in the six days from 13 to 18 September, having seen an increase in visitation to more than 20,000 per day during the holiday period. This, however, remains well below the 37,000 daily visitors during the first half of 2022 – before the COVID-19 outbreak on 18 June that saw GGR plummet back down to record lows.
While September has shown some recovery, with daily GGR of MOP$86 million (US$11 million) per day currently up 22% over August, Bernstein analysts Vitaly Umansky and Shirley Yang said there is no indication of any more meaningful recovery in the short-term. Notably, September’s average daily rate remains 88% lower than September 2019 and 56% lower than September 2021.
“Near-term GGR recovery will remain tepid as the Chinese government continues strict travel policies for long-distance travelers and [there are] ongoing regional COVID outbreaks in China,” they wrote.
“Despite overall daily cases falling in China, recent cases in Guizhou (also a tourism destination) have risen, and small regional COVID outbreaks in other areas still continue.
“Visitation to Macau should remain weak until people feel confident to travel and restrictions are relaxed. GGR in September and October is likely to be soft due to China’s travel policy.”
Bernstein is estimating September GGR to remain 88% lower than in September 2021, albeit 30% higher than August 2022.