Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) declined during the first week of February compared to the January levels, suggested brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd in a Monday note. That was because travel from mainland China “continued to be under pressure due to rising Covid[-19] contagion in the country,” it stated.
Citing its own channel checks within the industry, the institution estimated that Macau’s GGR in the first seven days of February was approximately MOP1.5 billion (US$187.8 million), with a month-to-date average daily rate (ADR) of MOP215 million.
The month’s ADR so far was “-76 percent compared to February 2019 (ADR MOP906 million) and -17 percent compared to January 2021 (ADR MOP259 million),” wrote analysts Vitaly Umansky and Tianjiao Yu.
Macau casino GGR rose by 2.6 percent sequentially in January, to just above MOP8.02 billion, according to official data.
The weaker performance compared with January could also be explained by the “typical slowdown in the week before [the] Chinese New Year” holiday period.
The upcoming week-long Chinese New Year (CNY) break runs from Thursday (February 11) to February 17, inclusive.
“The week prior to Chinese New Year is generally softer in Macau as trips are delayed to the holiday period and after the holiday,” stated Sanford Bernstein.
“China has been instituting larger-scale lockdowns and urging limited travel during the holiday period,” said the brokerage’s analysts. “The travel impediments will lead to reduced visitation into Macau for the next few weeks at least, with Chinese New Year visitation being impacted (as is already anticipated),” they added.
Senior executives at some Macau casino operators are mildly optimistic about likely business volumes for the upcoming week-long holiday break. Trading for Chinese New Year would in likelihood be “more like an October Golden Week situation than the Christmas and Western New Year period,” said recently Ian Coughlan, Wynn Macau Ltd president.
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Gaming revenue grossed by the U.S. commercial land-based gaming industry in 2023, according to data by the American Gaming Association