Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the seven days to Sunday (August 22) rose by 55 percent week-on-week, as travel restrictions were gradually eased, said 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 16 to August 22 inclusive was MOP120 million (US$15.0 million) compared to MOP78 million the previous week.
“The figure is still significantly constrained due to Covid-related travel slowdown,” linked to the confirmation of Covid-19 cases in Macau on August 3, it said.
“The past week’s GGR recovered as the travel impediments caused by Macau’s recent local Covid cases … have begun to be gradually relaxed and China is slowly reducing travel restrictions in some areas after what appears to be the passing of the peak of the most recent Covid outbreak,” wrote analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li, and Kelsey Zhu.
Mainland China is currently the only place to have a largely quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau.
Macau has seen a gradual rebound in its daily tourist arrivals since a fortnight ago. The recent pickup coincided with an easing on August 10, of the rules regarding the valid duration for a Covid-19 test – from 12 hours previously, to 48 hours – required by cross-border travellers moving between Macau and Guangdong province.
The brokerage stated that visitor arrivals to Macau in the period from August 14 to 18 were up 168 percent week-on-week, “though still down 42 percent from July’s daily average.”
The institution stated its checks indicated Macau’s GGR for August 1 to 22 inclusive was MOP2.4 billion, with the month-to-date average daily rate at MOP109 million.
Sanford Bernstein said this was down 86 percent on August 2019’s MOP783 million daily – prior to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic – and down 60 percent compared to last month’s MOP272 million daily.
It forecasts full-August GGR would be down in the mid-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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