2022 total GGR to be closer to 2020 results than 2021 – Analyst

This year will end with gross gaming results closer to those of 2020 when the pandemic first started than in 2021 due to the recent outbreak, gaming expert and managing director of 2NT8, Alidad Tash, told Macau News Agency.

According to the gaming data analyst, the SAR gross gaming revenues in 2020 and 2021 were 20 per cent and 30 per cent of the pre-pandemic period in 2019, respectively.

“The impact of the pandemic was devastating, but at least, there was a small recovery last year. Despite the effective junket shut down last December, there were rays of enthusiasm for a mass recovery in 2022. In fact, at the beginning of the year, many analysts, including me, were predicting 2022 to improve to at least 40 per cent of 2019’s figures, a continued improvement,” Tash told MNA.

However, the first five months of the year generated lower expected revenues and the Covid-19 outbreak in the SAR this month – the worst so far in the city – and its resultant restrictions have dashed all hopes for this year outperforming last year.

In 2020 – the year when the pandemic first broke out – the SAR reported a total of MOP60.4 billion (US$7.4 billion), an 80 per cent plunge from the previous year.

Those results then improved by 43.7 per cent to MOP86.8 billion in 2021 as travel restrictions were for mainland visitors.

Some MOP23.9 billion in gross gaming revenue was registered by the local casino sector between January and May, a 44 per cent year-on-year drop.

May gambling revenues dropped 68 per cent year-on-year to MOP3.3 billion and while up 25 per cent from April remained far off the MOP26 billion hit in May 2019.

Shortly after the recent outbreak started brokerages predicted that the local casino revenue tally will likely go down to near-zero again.

“In fact, it is far more likely for 2022 to be preform closer to 2020 than 2021, i.e., a step backwards instead of forward,” Tash warned.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases from this outbreak increased to 357 COVID-19 in the most recent community outbreak, with movement restrictions again put in place and greatly impacting visitation to the city

The border remains open but travellers leaving Macau must present a negative test result issued within 24 hours, while Zhuhai has announced that anyone crossing into Macau needed a negative COVID test within 48 hours prior to crossing the border.

People entering Zhuhai from Macau are also required to carry out a 7-day quarantine in a medical observation hotel plus 7 days of home isolation.

New guidelines issued to gaming operators mandate that starting from June 29 every employee entering a casino must present a nucleic acid test (NAT) test taken in the previous 48 hours.

However, despite the pandemic situation casinos have been allowed to remain open, while other leisure and entertainment businesses have been closed to reduce pandemic risks.