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Analyst predicts slow recovery until 2023 for Macau gaming sector

The Macau gaming industry may not see stable financial results until 2023, according to an analyst from investment banking company Jeffries Group.

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The sector has suffered heavy losses amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, which have resulted in the Government implementing strict travel constraints and ordering businesses to close.

The impacts have been wide-ranging, with unemployment at a level not seen since 2009.

Earlier this month, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reported a 95% year-on-year fall in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for July, in what was the worst monthly result since the pandemic began.

The region generated a total of MOP$398m (US$49.3m) in GGR for the month, representing a decrease of 84% when compared to June.

According to analyst Andrew Lee, the region will not recover fully until 2023, with Macau visitor numbers set to remain low amid concerns about further quarantine measures.

His prediction goes further than that of IGamiX Management & Consulting Managing Partner Ben Lee, who anticipated the bleak July results and forecast a similar outcome for August.

Casinos reopened in July, but have been subject to stringent operational restrictions, including capacity limits on staff and guests. Travel between Macau and mainland China remains limited, working to severely limit guest and visitor numbers.

The impact of pandemic restrictions has been reflected in the Q2 results of companies in the region. MGM China saw revenue drop by 46% and Melco Resorts by 48%, while Studio City International Holdings reported revenue of “negative $1.9m.”

Studio City noted that the pandemic continues to have “a material effect on our operations, financial position and future prospects into the third quarter of 2022.”


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