The estimated average daily amount of Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the first week of July has shown a trend of improvement from the average daily figure of the previous two months, even though tourist numbers remain small amid regional travel restrictions linked to Covid-19, says brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd in a Monday note.
Citing channel checks, the institution estimated Macau’s GGR for July 1 to July 5 to have been approximately MOP350 million (US$43.8 million), equal to MOP70 million per day on average.
“Month-to-date average daily revenue (ADR) is down 91 percent compared to July 2019 (ADR MOP789 million) and up 193 percent compared to June 2020 (ADR MOP24 million) and up 23 percent compared to May 2020 (ADR MOP57 million),” wrote analysts Vitaly Umansky, Tianjiao Yu and Kelsey Zhu.
Travel restrictions remain “in place which continues to limit visitation and revenue,” they added.
Macau’s June casino GGR declined 97.0 percent year-on-year to MOP716 million, according to official data. That monthly tally puts the Macau market’s first-half GGR at MOP33.72 billion.
“At this stage, we cannot estimate July GGR with any confidence as we have no clarity on the timing of cross-border travel and individual visit scheme (IVS) resumption,” the Bernstein team noted.
Currently, the majority of mainland Chinese entering Macau has no quarantine restrictions, but those wishing to return to the mainland after a visit to Macau are currently subject to a 14-day quarantine requirement. There are however restrictions on the issuance of exit visas by the Chinese authorities for mainlanders to travel to Macau.
Movement of people between Macau and Hong Kong is also still subject ordinarily to a 14-day quarantine period in each direction. The Hong Kong government recently announced it had extended to August 7 its deadline for the end of that rule for those arriving from Macau, mainland China and Taiwan.
Sanford Bernstein said it currently forecast Macau 2020 GGR to dip 44 percent year-on-year, ‘followed by a rebound of over 96 percent in 2021″.
The brokerage added: “This forecast is based on our prior estimates around travel resumption,” and was “likely to change depending on the timeliness of the lifting of travel restrictions and visa implementation”.
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“We see that basically the ‘golden’ periods [for Macau's casino industry] are all concentrated in the second half of this year”
Lei Wai Nong
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance