New entry restrictions to further collapse gaming results – Brokerage

Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein believe that with the stream of new entry and travel restrictions imposed by Macau, Hong Kong and Chinese authorities gaming results for March will further collapse to a fall between 80 to 82 per cent year-on-year.

Guangdong authorities announced late last night new border restrictions that would be put in place on its Zhuhai borders, with all arrivals from outside of mainland China including Macau and Hong Kong having to be subject to a 14-day quarantine and coronavirus testing.

Earlier this week, Macau also imposed limitations for entry of Greater China residents, with any individual that previously passed through overseas countries or Hong Kong and Taiwan the city ordered to go into quarantine for 14 days.

Yesterday Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong pointed out that gaming results in March were tracking at about MOP6 billion so far after gross gaming results have fallen by 50 per cent year-on-year between January and February to MOP50.3 billion as a direct result of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 epidemic.

Bernstein is also expecting its 27 year-on-year drop prediction for 2020 will likely worse after the new restrictions.

‘With visitors from Hong Kong having comprised 50 per cent-60 per cent of all visitors into Macau since the casinos reopened in late February and Chinese visitors utilizing business visas and other entry permits driving much of the visitation into Macau, we are now set to see a collapse of the limited business Macau has seen in the last five week,’ the brokerage pointed out.

Analysts Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu were hoping that April could already see the loosening of some imposed restrictions such as individual visas for Guangdong residents, but it now seems they will likely only be reinstated in May.

‘The visa issuances are most certainly to be implemented in a phased manner as we have previously stated. Much will depend on progress made in containing virus spread in Macau and Hong Kong. Both cities have had a spike in new cases over the past two weeks driving largely by residents returning from overseas, where they had been infected,’