COVID Hurts Macau GGR, Leads to Weak June Results

It would seem like Macau’s woes never end. The special administrative region just posted the financial results of its gaming industry for June this year. The declining revenues make it very clear that the worst is far from over.

Macau’s GGR Continues to Decline

According to the results, Macau’s gross gaming revenues for June sit at around $307 million. Notably, this represents a 62.1% decline from Macau’s 2021 results. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau also noted that this is the lowest GGR since September 2020 when Macau only earned about $274 million in GGR.

The suboptimal performance of the local gaming industry is caused by the raging COVID-19 pandemic and China’s zero-COVID policy. For the last few months, travelers from mainland China were restricted, causing a sharp decline in GGR. In addition, Macau is currently struggling with its own COVID-19 outbreak, which is the biggest one since 2020.

As a result, the local government has been forced to shut down public offices and conduct mass testing of the populace. The concessionaires were allowed to continue operating under strict conditions. For example, gambling establishments were forced to send at least 90% of their workers home and work at a minimal capacity.

There Are More Cases Every Day

Meanwhile, confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to grow. Inside Asian Gaming reported that there are now 638 confirmed cases – a number that will likely keep on growing for the time being. The silver lining of the situation is that Friday’s cases (66) were slightly fewer than those on Thursday (88) and Wednesday (70).

What’s dangerous is that about 70% of the cases are asymptomatic and hard to identify. Because of this, the Macau government is working hard to identify all affected people and inhibit the spread of COVID. To that end, officials keep on testing locals who show symptoms or have been in contact with the sick.

Several elderly people have been affected and a few people in an aged care home turned out to be COVID-positive.

Experts Are Somewhat Optimistic

Many believe that Macau will steadily recover once the pandemic has subsided. Sadly, this will likely take a while. Credit Suisse recently reported that it will likely take years for Macau GGR to return to pre-pandemic levels. According to Credit Suisse, Macau GGR will return to 80% of its 2019 by 2024.

Despite the difficulties, finance specialists believe that the concessionaires have enough money to maintain their business. Wynn Resorts, for example, just provided its Macau arm with a loan to help it get through the hard times.

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