Macau’s April casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) has been “steady” even as visitor volume has risen, indicating that the recovery of the Macau tourism sector has involved a “low-value customer” segment in gaming terms, says a Monday note from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd.
Referring to the coming five-day break in China encompassing May 1, the institution said it would be “an important test” for visitor volume outlook and GGR.
“The key question will be average spend as it is possible that high rollers may stay away from Macau during the holiday period,” stated analysts Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu and Louis Li.
The brokerage estimated that based on the current daily run rate for GGR, the April tally was likely to be 4 percent up on March – when it reached just under MOP8.31 billion (US$1.04 billion). April’s figure would be approximately 64 percent down on April 2019, the most meaningful pre-pandemic comparison point, said the institution.
Sanford Bernstein said that month-to-date – up to Sunday – Macau’s average daily rate of GGR was approximately MOP284 million.
“Without Individual Visit Scheme or group visa issuance changes, the opening of Hong Kong, and loosening of Covid[-19] testing requirements for entry,” Macau GGR and visitor volume would “remain below normal levels and GGR recovery will face headwinds”.
The analysts added: “We expect a more robust GGR uplift to begin this summer as travel impediments are removed and visitation increases.”
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“We see that basically the ‘golden’ periods [for Macau's casino industry] are all concentrated in the second half of this year”
Lei Wai Nong
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance