Macau’s gaming industry might see further sequential improvement in mass gaming volume during the upcoming five-day break surrounding Labour Day on May 1, with average daily casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) possibly reaching “MOP400 million” (US$50 million), said Ambrose So Shu Fai, vice-chairman and chief executive of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd. His comments were cited by Hong Kong-based Chinese-language media outlet the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
Mr So said he was “confident” of the sector being able to achieve MOP400-million average daily GGR tally during the early May break.
China’s State Council has designated the first five days of May as the Labour Day break for this year. Mainland China currently has what is usually a quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau, and is presently the main source of Macau’s tourists.
Mr So noted however that MOP500 million a day in GGR during the holiday would probably be “a bit too optimistic”.
A Macau senior tourism official and several investment analysts indicated last week that the city was likely to have a high occupancy rate for its hotels during the upcoming holiday. A number of analysts has previously noted however that there need not be a positive correlation between either tourism volume or hotel occupancy; and market performance of GGR.
Hoffman Ma Ho Man, deputy chairman and executive director at Hong Kong-listed Success Universe Group Ltd, an investor in Macau casino resort Ponte 16, which uses the gaming licence of SJM Holdings, told GGRAsia that he has also expected the city’s gaming industry to achieve around MOP400 million in average daily GGR during the Labour Day break. Much of it was likely to come from the city’s “mass and premium mass” gaming segment, he added.
Daily casino GGR of “anywhere from MOP400 million to MOP500 million a day” for the May Day holidays would be seen as a “success”, remarked JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd in a April 19 note.
If that happened, Macau’s mass gaming might recover this year to “70 percent to 80 percent” of 2019 average levels, the JP Morgan analysts stated.
SJM Holdings’ Mr So said the industry had only modest expectations for VIP gaming performance during the May holidays, citing uncertainty regarding the impact of China’s amended criminal code that outlaws the assisting of overseas betting. The new code took effect on March 1 this year.
China’s new penalties against cross-border gambling activities and controls over capital flow have impacted the recovery of Macau’s VIP gaming sector, said Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, boss of Macau major junket investor Suncity Group, as cited also by the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
Mr Chau also said he believed Macau’s VIP gaming business volume could only recover to “30 percent” of pre- Covid-19 levels for full-year 2021, despite some recovery seen in the number of Macau-bound VIP gaming patrons.
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