Gaming | Higher tourist arrivals not giving way to higher GGR: Bernstein

Macau’s daily run-rate of gross gaming revenue (GGR) is expected to hover at around MOP292 million last week from April 19 to 25, remaining virtually flat across the preceding week’s figure of MOP300 million — despite a significant increase in tourist arrivals in the second half of April, according to Asia Gaming Brief which cited a note by Bernstein Research.
That is to say, the growing tourist volumes did not lead to more casino revenue for Macau.
The GGR for last week dropped by 64% year-on-year, yet was up 9% month-on-month, Bernstein Research said.
In terms of tourist arrivals, the city saw 34,252 visitor arrivals on April 16, by far the highest daily tally since the start of the pandemic.
Bernstein Research forecasts the total GGR in April to increase by 4% from the approximate MOP8.31 billion recorded in March, although this figure is 64% lower than the pre-pandemic levels, or monthly GGR in April 2019.
With travel restrictions still in place, such as the ban on group travel visas by the Chinese government, the issuance of individual visit scheme visas through e-kiosks still out of reach, and mandatory 14-day quarantine for Hong Kong visitors, the brokerage firm expects the city’s GGR to stay below the levels that were recorded before the pandemic era.
“The coming May 1 holiday period will be an important test for Macau visitation and GGR as expectations for visitation are reasonably high,” the firm stated.
“The key question will be average spend as the high rollers may stay away from Macau during the holiday period,” it added.
Overall, Bernstein expects the city’s GGR to recover to 64% of its pre-pandemic levels this year, with the mass market returning to about 75%, with VIP figures standing at less than half of previous levels.
JP Morgan is also expecting a “strong GGR” in the May Day Holiday. It forecasts mass GGR to recover to over 70% to 85% of pre-pandmeic levels in the third or fourth quarter, before returning to normal figures by 2022.




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