A new Covid-19 outbreak in the province of Fujian, in mainland China, “may hinder” the recent recovery in casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau, suggests a note from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. Since Friday (September 10), several cases have been reported in at least three cities in Fujian, linked to the more infectious Delta variant of Covid-19, according to local authorities.
“Despite that most Chinese provinces have passed through the July-August Covid outbreak” without problems, and “Fujian visitors only account for 5 percent” of mainland Chinese visitors to Macau in the period of “January to July”, the new outbreak in Fujian “may hinder the recent recovery if contagion spreads to other provinces and travel restrictions are raised again,” wrote analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li, and Kelsey Zhu in a Monday memo.
Twenty-two new cases were reported on Monday in that southeastern province of the mainland, with the latest infections being linked to a traveller who returned from Singapore in early August. The authorities in Fujian have found 43 locally-transmitted cases since Friday and put 32 asymptomatic carriers under medical observation, according to media reports.
The city of Xiamen has closed off two districts and a hospital after identifying new cases of Covid-19. Another city, Putian, has imposed travel curbs and closed public venues because of the virus outbreak.
Macau’s health authorities have already imposed a 14-day quarantine for inbound people from some places in Fujian, including the entire city of Putian, and two districts in Xiamen. Only mainland China has currently a mostly quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau.
In Monday’s note, Sanford Bernstein said Macau daily GGR for the week of September 6 to 12 rose 6 percent from the preceding week, “continuing the recovery trend from late August”.
Citing its own channel checks, the institution said Macau’s casino GGR in the first 12 months of September was MOP3.1 billion (US$387 million), with an average daily rate of MOP258 million. The brokerage is forecasting September GGR to rise by more than 70 percent from August.
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