Macau gaming revenue has plunged again in May, recording a drop of 93.2% from a year earlier, a figure that was slightly better compared to the median analyst estimate of 95%.
Data from the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau shows that gross gaming revenue plunged to 1.76 billion patacas last month, representing the eight-straight month of declining revenue.
The figure shows that the SAR is still suffering from the virus blow along with the continuous entry and travel restrictions.
Meanwhile, analysts previously noted that casinos are losing more than some USD1 million a day.
The outbreak has been largely contained in Macau as well as in neighboring Hong Kong and mainland China, but restrictions on travel make it almost impossible for tourists and high rollers to show up to place their bets.
It could be seen that several gaming tables in the city’s casinos remain vacant as the central government are still suspending the individual visit scheme (IVS), as well as group tour visas.
It is still unknown when the central government would once again permit their citizens to apply for IVS or to grant group travel visas.
However, analysts hoping that border and visa restrictions will be eased from this month – particularly after the recently concluded National People’s Congress.
Earlier, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said that the local government would request that the central government resume the issuance of the IVS and increase the number of cities covered by the scheme.
Even with the loosening of restrictions, there will still be “a clear set of risks,” Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Vitaly Umansky wrote in a note last month. Health experts are concerned about a second wave of infections, protests are flaring up again in Hong Kong, and the Chinese economy’s recovery has been slow as relations with the US deteriorate.
The average daily rate of Macau gross gaming revenue from May 18 to May 24 fell into the negative, according to estimates from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein.
The average daily rate stood at approximately minus 25 million patacas, implying that gross gaming revenue for the seven-day period had tumbled 103% year-on-year. Bernstein said that the decrease was driven by a very small base of players during this pandemic outbreak which drove volatility, particularly in the VIP segment. The group said that checks with sources suggested Macau’s GGR for May 1 to 24 was approximately 700 million patacas.
All casino operators have recorded a drop in its gaming revenues in the first quarter of the year, with analysts at JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) said that Macau casino operators have enough financial liquidity behind them to survive with “near-zero revenue” for years.
According to data provided by the Public Security Police Force, which oversees immigration matters in the SAR, the number of tourist arrivals in April was 219,329, a slight increase from March arrivals of 200,000
However, it remains far subdued from the more than 3 million tourists per month averaged last year.