Macau’s casinos have recorded the lowest weekly gross gaming revenue since September 2020.
Macau Casinos’ Weekly GGR Down by 37%
On Monday, Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd, an investment research and institutional asset management company, reported that there was a decline in Macau casinos’ weekly gross gaming revenue (GGR). Due to the pandemic, the GGR dropped 37% week-on-week, from Monday, August 9 to Sunday, August 15. Macau has marked the lowest weekly GGR since September 2020, according to analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu.
According to channel checks, the institution suggests that the average daily rate for the week was $9.7 million, compared to $15.5 million in the previous week. The analysts said that, in the past week, the GGR sank due to travel barriers remaining from China’s travel restrictions due to new outbreaks since August 3.
Macau is in China’s Quarantine-Free Bubble
Currently, only mainland China has “a largely quarantine-free travel bubble” with Macau, and the autonomous region saw a 78% decline in visitors rate from August 6 to August 12. After, there was a slight recovery to -50%, according to the analysts.
The research team also added that the city has lifted its “immediate pandemic prevention status” on August 10. This will allow the reopening of leisure facilities from August 18. Casinos have remained open during the period, but there weren’t many visitors.
For more than a year, Macau didn’t have COVID-19 cases. However, at the beginning of August, a few people tested positive and the government initiated mass testing of 600,000 people. Reportedly, the testing led to employees and players leaving Macau, as well as a decrease in gaming stocks. Although casinos remained open, bars, cinemas, theaters and nightclubs were forced to close.
Sanford Bernstein added, “The situation in Macau now seems under control with no new [COVID-19] cases and the completion of mass testing of the entire city with no local infections found.”
Macau’s GGR Is Down by 87% Compared to August 2019
Macau’s GGR for August 1 to August 15 inclusive was around $193 million, as the month-to-date average daily rate at about $13 million. According to the analysts, this number is down by 87% compared to August 2019, before the pandemic, when it was $97.6 million/day. It’s also a 62% decline compared to the previous month, with $33.9 million daily.
According to the analysts, the current pandemic situation will “curtain much near-term” visitor volume. Sanford Bernstein’s August GGR forecasts indicate that the revenue will decrease around 80% compared to August 2019 and see a decline of at least 50% compared to July 2021.
The analysts, “September is likely to be soft as it will take time to get travel back to April/May levels.”