Total gaming revenue at 39 casinos in Macau fell 96.8% year-over-year to just over $94.42 million as travel restrictions continued due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Enclave Game Inspection and Coordination Agency’s official figures for April were down more than 85% compared to $658.36 million recorded in March, meaning the four-month figure was about $3.91 billion, about 68.7% behind the same period last year.
Sanford C Bernstein Limited declared that Macao’s significant decline in total gaming revenue in April was ‘largely driven by new travel restrictions in place since the end of March’ and ‘below normal retention rates in the second half of the month’. The investment firm is also reported to have stated over a 30-day period that it has seen high businesses with “high VIP holdings and high volatility” in casinos’ top public markets in numerous cities
Visits to Macau from mainland China expect coronavirus-related travel restrictions between the two jurisdictions to begin to be lifted in the “next few weeks,” but estimate a 95% drop from the same period last year.
“It is unclear when the issuance of Individual Visit Plans (IVS) will begin, but if the trajectory of cases continues, we expect some form of IVS visa to begin in June and continue in phases with the issuance of collective visas starting later this summer.”
Macau’s casino market will reportedly recover relatively quickly once Chinese authorities start using the IVS program to allow its citizens to travel to the region, according to Inside Asia Gaming, along with Credit Suisse AG’s Kenneth Pong. He has also reportedly declared that ‘VIP will see a faster recovery’ with related revenues likely to recover to pre-coronavirus levels by the end of this summer due to pent-up demand.
“On the other hand, mass recovery is likely to be more gradual. We expect bulk total gaming sales to return from about 70% to 80% by the summer holidays and from 90% to 100% by the end of the year, as China can resume IVS visas in phases.”