The average daily rate of Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the first 10 days of May was estimated to be only about MOP40 million (US$5.0 million), down 95 percent judged year-on-year, said brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd.
“We estimate VIP volume has been stronger than mass, with revenue driven by a very small number of players which, however, drove low hold and high volatility in the VIP segment,” wrote analysts Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu.
Following April’s decline of 97 percent in year-on-year terms, the institution said it estimated May casino GGR in Macau to be down between 90 percent and 95 percent, “largely depending on hold volatility and when [tourist] visitation may resume”.
April’s monthly tally puts the Macau market’s accumulated 2020 year-on-year decline at 68.7 percent, to MOP31.24 billion.
“The gaming operators and other Macau based contacts we have spoken with do not see any definitive clarity on timing of recovery (visa situation improvement),” said the Sanford Bernstein team in a Monday memo. “We expect GGR to pick up again when travel restrictions begin to be lifted,” the analysts added.
Restrictions during the pandemic crisis on cross-border travel involving Macau, Hong Kong and mainland China had been factors in Macau tourism numbers dropping to a few hundred visitors per day, according to official data. In 2019 the statistical daily average was circa 108,000 tourist visitors per day, based on that year’s tally of 39.4 million arrivals as reported previously be the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
As of Monday, Macau has had 33 consecutive days without a new report of Covid-19 infection, according to local authorities.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said in an interview with a local media outlet that Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong province were currently in discussions over a plan that would allow residents of the Chinese province and of the two special administrative regions to travel freely within the three places, without having to go through the compulsory 14-day quarantine process currently in place.
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