Lower spend per visitor keeping Macaus early April GGR subdued: Bernstein

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Macaus visitor numbers continue to rise but gross gaming revenues remained flat in the first week of April, indicating lower spend per visitor, according to brokerage Sanford C Bernstein.

GGR for the first six days of April is estimated at around MOP$1.5 billion (US$187 million) or MOP$ 250 million (US$31 million) per day, only slightly above the MOP$246 million per day in the last week of March. However, the average daily rate (ADR) is 7% lower than the ADR of March as a whole.

While visitation has been picking up, what is evidently relatively weak GGR clearly indicates lower spend per visitor, said Bernstein analysts Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu and Louis Li in their regular Macau weekly roundup.

China eased travel restrictions in late February with the Jan-Feb COVID spike coming under control, and Macau visitation has seen some increase. A few weeks do not make a trend, and we expect GGR to improve through April and May.

ADR from 1 to 6 April is down 68% compared with April 2019, however Bernstein anticipates improvement through the rest of the month, culminating in a decline of around the high 50% region.

FY21 GGR is tipped to be 210% higher than in COVID-hit 2020, reaching around 64% of 2019 levels.