September could see first GGR y-on-y drop under 90pct since March – Analysts

Local gross gaming revenues are expected to show only an incremental improvement in despite the easing of travel and visa curbs by Chinese authorities, analysts consulted by Bloomberg indicated.

According to estimates by 11 analysts surveyed by the news agency, September is estimated to record an average 86 per cent year-on-year fall – with estimates ranging from 70 per cent to a 88 per cent drop – which would make it the first month without a yearly drop over 90 per cent this year since March.

The issuing of individual tourism visas have been reinstated first for Zhuhai residents on August 12 and then for residents in the whole province on August 26.

Despite the re-opening gross gaming revenues reported in August showed a 94.5 per cent year-on-year fall to about MOP1.3 billion, with the first eight months of the year reporting an 81.6 per cent drop, amounting to some MOP36.3 billion.

The issuing of individual tourism visas was resumed for the whole of Mainland China on September 23 right on time for the National Day Golden Week holiday period between October 1 and 8.

The partial re-opening of the border has already led to the average daily entries in the city to go from the approximately 4,000 per day reported in July to more than 15,000 in September.

However, Chinese tourists are still required to apply for tourist visas and present a negative test result to enter the SAR and with lower VIP gaming influx, gaming results have failed to pick up considerably.

A recent survey conducted by the Macau Research Centre study on Chinese tourists coming to the city also showed that less than 20 per cent claimed to have come mainly for gambling.

Almost one million visitors were reported in last year’s October Golden Week, with visitation to likely be at least half of that amount.

Still, nine analysts consulted by Bloomberg, October gaming results are likely to drop by an average of 67 per cent year-on-year, with estimates between 45 per cent to 75 per cent.

Meanwhile, 2020 GGR is expected to end with a full gross gaming revenue some 75 per cent lower than the previous year, but with analysts expecting a 232 per cent pick up in 2021.