March could see 75-80pct y-on-y dip in gaming results – Brokerage

Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein are predicting that the gaming gross revenues downturn will continue in March, with a 75 to 80 per cent year-on-year fall expected.

Gross gaming results have fallen by 50 per cent year-on-year between January and February to MOP50.3 billion (US$6.2 billion), with casino operations suspended between February 5 and 20.

Bernstein analysts Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu indicated in a note issued by the brokerage that despite the suspension lift the average daily rate in gaming results between March 1 and 15 has stayed at about MOP190 million, less 77 per cent year-on-year, with a total of MOP2.8 billion reported in that period.

‘[Individual visas] and group visas into Macau remained suspended and most transport is severely disrupted with airlines having canceled or limited flights into Macau and surrounding airports back in February. Visitation into Macau, while slowly improving, remains abysmal (~5k daily tourists in late February, ~8k in early March, and rising to ~10k tourists last week, still dramatically below the 100k+ normal average),’ the brokerage indicated.

In the same 15 day period of March, the VIP sector was also estimated to have been stronger than mass, something that was said to have helped Wynn Macau and Melco Resorts to gain market share.

For the brokerage, the good news was that travel restrictions have been softening across China and seemingly business seems to be ‘getting back to normal across many provinces.

‘However, the now accelerating contagion has shifted to other countries, which could have the effect of slowing economic recovery in China,’ the note read.

As of today, Mainland China has reported 80,886 Covid-19 cases and 3,226 deaths but with the progression of new cases gradually reducing. However, reported cases in European countries and in the United States have increased in recent weeks.