Macau casinos raked in a daily average of MOP79 million (US$9.8 million) in gross gaming revenue last week (August 8-14), signalling a 120 per cent hike from the previous week, according to a note by Stanford C. Bernstein. Data collected by the brokerage also indicates that the overall gaming revenue for the first half of August 2022 stands at around MOP800 million (US$99 million), amounting to only 7 per cent of what was recoded in the same period of pre-pandemic August 2019.
The two-week figure is helped by visitation following the reopening of the border with the mainland on August 3, however “the recovery is still hampered by various travel restrictions in China”. A major hurdle regards the 24-hour COVID test certificate and the one-trip per day limitation imposed on August 9. Stanford C. Bernstein also quotes the tightened in-bound border measures for mainland visitors arriving by sea and air, which require a COVID (NAT) test upon arrival and another test within the following two days.
Considering the measures in place and the regional COVID-19 outbreaks, the brokerage holds a prudent approach to the near-term business environment.
“The pace of gross gaming revenue recovery is still uncertain due to the remainingtravel restrictions across feeder Chinese provinces, risks of COVID infection resurgence, and (prolonged) stringent 24-hour COVID test validity to cross the border with China”, the note issued by analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Shirley Yang indicates.
Gross gaming revenue in July plunged by 95 per cent year-on-year to MOP 398 million (USD 49 million), being severely impacted by the stringent pandemic restrictions in place during the whole month and the 12-day closure of gambling venues as the city was enduring a partial lockdown following the worst local outbreak so far since the onset of the pandemic.