Macau GGR showing strong recovery through first week of September: analysts

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Macaus daily GGR average during the first five days of September was 74% higher than throughout the month of August, boosting confidence in the potential for a strong October Golden Week.

Analysts from Sanford C Bernstein and JP Morgan said Monday that Macau operators recorded gross gaming revenue of MOP$1.25 billion (US$156 million), or MOP$250 million (US$31 million) per day from 1 to 5 September.

That compared to an average daily rate of MOP$143 million (US$18 million) through the entirety of August and was 10% higher than in the final week of August when easing COVID-19 restrictions in mainland China saw Macaus GGR improve to MOP$227 million (US$28 million) per day.

According to Bernsteins Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu, the VIP sector has enjoyed a huge boost versus August with average daily volumes up by 85% to 90% while mass GGR is also up by around 60% month-on-month.

However, the early September average is still 66% lower than during the same period in 2019 when daily GGR was MOP$736 million (US$92 million).

JP Morgan analysts DS Kim, Amanda Cheng and Livy Lyu said they had previously modelled September GGR at between MOP$200 million and MOP$230 million (US$25 million and US$29 million) per day but the strong rebound means all eyes will be on the October Golden Week (October 1 to 7), to gauge the level of pent-up demand and recovery potential in 4Q/early 2022 under current border setup before further re-opening kicks in.

The analysts suggested anything north of MOP$500 million (US$62 million) per day during Golden Week should be considered a success.