Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell by 25.8 percent sequentially in October, to nearly MOP4.37 billion (US$544.7 million), compared to MOP5.88 billion in September. In early October, a Covid-19 alert in Macau resulted in a sharp dip in tourism to the city.
Judged year-on-year, October GGR was down 40.0 percent on the MOP7.27 billion achieved in October 2020, according to data issued on Monday by the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, a body also known as DICJ.
Investment analysts had suggested that October GGR this year was negatively affected by tighter countermeasures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Macau. From September 25, Macau had entered what is known locally as a “state of immediate prevention” regarding Covid-19 countermeasures, after a number of new infections was confirmed in the city. The alert level was eased on October 15.
At the end of September, the daily volume of mainland tourists to Macau went down, coinciding with neighbouring Zhuhai city in Guangdong province introducing a 14-day quarantine for inbound travel from Macau. The measure was only relaxed on October 19.
The seven-day holiday starting with China’s National Day, on October 1, was an “un-golden week” for Macau casinos, stated the analysts. The daily average of visitors to Macau during this year’s October Golden Week declined 93.7 percent on the already modest number of the 2020 holiday.
But since late October, the number of visitor arrivals to Macau has been increasing steadily. Macau recorded on October 26 a total 28,299 arrivals of visitors, the highest daily tally since late September. The average daily volume of visitor arrivals to Macau “exceeded 25,000” between October 20 and 28, according to a Friday press release from the Macao Government Tourism Office.
Currently, mainland China is the only place to have a largely-quarantine free travel arrangement with Macau.
Aggregate casino GGR in the first 10 months of 2021 stood at nearly MOP72.15 billion, an increase of 57.3 percent on the MOP45.88 billion achieved in the prior-year period.
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DS Kim, Amanda Cheng and Livy Lyu
Analysts at brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific)