Macau GGR shows signs of recovery during first 18 days of April

By Violeta Prockyte

Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) has shown signs of improvement between 12-18 April.

Based on investment bank JP Morgan's estimation, Macau casino GGR for last week reached daily MOP300m ($37.5m), “one of the highest non-holiday readings post Covid-19, although partly helped by favourable VIP luck.”

Analysts estimated casino GGR in Macau for the first 18 days of the month reached MOP5.5bn, which is MOP280m a day.

This, however, was still only 35% of pre-pandemic levels, “with mass and VIP volumes at about 40 to 45% and 20 % respectively, compared to two years ago (April 2019)."

Sanford C. Bernstein analysts said the improvement was “mainly due to better mass consumer traffic over the weekend and continued high VIP hold”, as quoted by GGR Asia.

According to the specialists, visitation to Macau isslowly picking up. The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) reported average daily visitor volume for 9-15 April was 27,404, with 16 April recording 34,252 total visitors, the highest count since the start of the pandemic.

Sanford Bernstein’s analysts predict that Macau’s GGR for the full month of April will reach approximately 60% of the figures recorded for the same period in 2019. GGR should see better improvement in the second half of the year when travel restrictions will likely be eased.

Despite the signs of improvement from Macau’s gaming market, Union Gaming cautions that prospects for Macau gaming stocks might be too optimistic.

“We are taking a more conservative view and assume FY22 aggregate revenue and EBITDA return to 90% and 95% of FY19 levels, respectively,” said John DeCree, an analyst for Union Gaming. “Based on commentary from government officials in Macau, Hong Kong, and China, we may not see a complete reopening until mid-2022, making a full recovery in FY22 difficult to achieve.”

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