Macau GGR down 34% on May as tightened Guangdong border restrictions bite: Bernstein

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Macaus daily gross gaming revenue over the first two weeks of June is estimated to be down around 74% compared to June 2019 levels and 34% versus May 2021, as travel restrictions imposed to protect the SAR from an outbreak of COVID-19 in Guangdong Province take hold.

As reported by IAG, Guangzhou City has reported around 146 community cases of COVID-19 this month, with several areas of the city having been locked down and travelers to Macau from all impacted areas required to enter 14 days of hotel quarantine. Anyone arriving from Guangdong must also present a negative COVID-19 test.

According to a Tuesday note from brokerage Bernstein, Macaus average daily GGR in the second week of June was down 3% over the first week and 35% on May 221 at MOP$219 million per day.

Month to date GGR of MOP$3.1 billion (US$388 million), or MOP$221 million (US$28 million) per day is down 72% versus June 2019 and 34% compared with May with both VIP hold and mass GGR down by between 30% and 35% month-on-month.

Despite officials in Guangzhou expressing confidence that they were now on top of the outbreak, Bernsteins Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu said, The impediments to Macau travel are still largely in place. Daily visitor arrivals to and departures from Macau averaged only 30,000 during June 7-13, which was down 26% vs the prior week of May 31 to June 4 (and down 42% vs April daily), due to the travel restrictions imposed on cities of Guangdong.

Any easing of travel restrictions should meaningfully increase visitation and more importantly, GGR, but COVID outbreaks could derail travel temporarily.

Bernstein estimated June GGR to be down around 70% compared with June 2019 and 30% versus May 2021 before improving again in 2H21.