Macau gaming revenue plunged by more than 90% for a fourth straight month, as China’s ban on tourist visas continued to deprive the gambling hub of its biggest source of clients.
- Gross gaming revenue was 1.34 billion patacas ($168 million) in July, down 94.5% from a year earlier, according to data from the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau, released today (Saturday). It was in line with the median analyst estimate of a 95% decline and follows a record 97% drop in June.
- A recovery in Macau has been stalled as the coronavirus shut borders, preventing casual gamblers as well as high-stakes players from the mainland from reaching the city’s casinos. Gaming revenue has dropped for 10 straight months, hurt by additional headwinds including the weakened Chinese economy.
- The outlook is brightening as China is gradually easing some restrictions. Guangdong province in mid-July lifted quarantine requirements for travelers returning from neighboring Macau. Non-tourist visas will be resumed for the entire country on Aug. 12, local media reported this week.
- Analysts are now hoping China will resume tourism visas to Macau in August or September to more fully open up travel lanes. Macau has been in close contact with mainland Chinese authorities on resuming tourist travel, a Macau official said earlier this week. Travel between the two places will resume gradually in an orderly manner, he said.
- The Bloomberg Intelligence index of Macau casino operators rose 0.3% in July. The benchmark Hang Seng Index advanced 0.7% in the same period.