Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the seven days to Sunday (August 15) was down 37 percent week-on-week, and the lowest weekly tally since September last year, “severely constrained due to the Covid[-19] situation,” estimated brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd in a Monday note.
Citing channel checks, the institution suggested the average daily rate for the seven days from August 9 to August 15 inclusive was MOP78 million (US$9.7 million) compared to MOP125 million the previous week.
“This is the lowest daily GGR since late September” last year, wrote analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li, and Kelsey Zhu.
“The past week’s GGR bottomed as the travel impediments caused by Macau’s recent local Covid cases,” confirmed on August 3, “remain largely in place and [mainland] China travel restrictions due to its outbreak had intensified,” suggested the analysts.
Mainland China is currently the only place to have a largely quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau.
Visitor volume “during August 6 to 12 was -78 percent versus July’s average, but by August 12 has shown some slight recovery to -50 percent,” said the Sanford Bernstein team.
It added: “The situation in Macau now seems under control with no new [Covid-19] cases and the completion of mass testing of the entire city with no local infections found.”
“The city has also lifted ‘immediate pandemic prevention’ status since August 10 and will allow reopening of leisure venues from Aug 18,” noted Sanford Bernstein. It added: “The casinos have remained open throughout the period,” but visitor numbers in those venues were “light”.
The institution stated its checks indicated Macau’s GGR for August 1 to 15 inclusive was MOP1.55 billion, or approximately US$193 million, with the month-to-date average daily rate at MOP103 million or about US$13 million.
Sanford Bernstein said this was down 87 percent on August 2019’s MOP783 million daily – prior to the effects of the pandemic – and down 62 percent compared to last month’s MOP272 million daily.
“The current Covid situation will curtail much near-term” visitor volume, suggested the brokerage.
It forecasts full-August GGR will be down in the 80s of percent compared to August 2019; and down at least 50s of percent sequentially compared to July 2021.
“September is likely to also be soft as it will take time to get travel back to April/May levels,” wrote the Sanford Bernstein team.
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