The operator of Macau casino venue the Grand Emperor Hotel says it expects a consolidated net loss of “not more than” HKD160 million (US$20.6 million) for the six months to September 30, compared to a consolidated net profit of HKD177.2 million for the same period a year earlier.
Emperor Entertainment Hotel Ltd said in a Monday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange the loss would be due mainly to a “decrease of around 90 percent of the group’s gaming revenue due to a drastic decrease in the number of patrons” at the downtown Macau property during the reporting period.
That stemmed from “travel restrictions and health quarantine arrangements for inbound travellers,” as part of Macau’s measures against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The casino at the venue runs as a satellite under a so-called services agreement with Macau gaming licensee SJM Holdings Ltd.
Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue for the first nine months of 2020 stood at nearly MOP38.61 billion (US$4.8 billion), down 82.5 percent from the prior-year period. Investment analysts have linked that decline with local and regional travel restrictions imposed as countermeasures to Covid-19.
Only in late September did the authorities in mainland China – from where most of Macau’s visitors are drawn – fully reinstate the application process for Individual Visit Scheme visas, key routes for independent leisure trips to Macau by mainland residents. That exit visa system had been suspended in late January amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Macau’s visitor tally for full-year 2020 could see “over 90 percent” decline year-on-year, but the city would not relax “too easily” its current entry restrictions facing tourists, due to public health concerns amid the pandemic, said on Monday Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macao Government Tourism Office.
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”The upswing in visitation and gaming revenue is likely to aid Fitch-rated casino operators with a presence in Macau in reducing their debt levels”