Bernstein Is Skeptical about Macau’s Recovery

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Finance expert Bernstein has once again commented on the situation of Macau’s gambling market. This time, the firm’s analysts discussed the special administrative region’s slight daily revenue growth.

Umansky and Yang Don’t Buy the Optimism

Vitaly Umansky and Shirley Yang, two finance experts at Bernstein, explained that during September’s first four days, Macau’s gross gaming revenue increased by 12% week-on-week. According to official data, the region earned an average of $11 million a day, which also represents a 25% increase from August’s average daily earnings.

Despite the favorable results, the Bernstein specialists believe it is still too early to be optimistic about Macau. While the sector did earn more money for the last few days, these numbers are still dramatically lower than Macau’s daily average in September 2019 and in September 2021. In addition, it is not certain whether the daily average will remain the same throughout the month.  

The Mandatory Quarantine Will Continue Hurting Travel

Another cause for hope is Macau’s decision to reopen its borders to foreign visitors. The recent COVID-19 outbreak forced the region to close its borders and deal with the problem, which ended up hurting local GGR. However, visitors from 41 countries can once again visit China’s special administrative region now.

Despite the positive news, Bernstein’s analysts once again remained reserved about the news. Umansky and Yang explained that a sharp tourism boost is highly unlikely considering that foreign visitors must do seven-day quarantine once they land in Macau. This will surely discourage many people from visiting Macau for gambling tourism and, according to the two experts. To make matters worse, Bernstein doesn’t believe Macau will lift this requirement anytime soon.  

In addition, the flow of tourists from mainland China also remains restricted because the country continues to struggle with various local COVID-19 outbreaks.

Finally, the two analysts said that the lockdowns will continue to present a problem to Macau’s gaming industry. The experts noted that Macau’s GGR will truly recover only after travel restrictions have been reduced or fully lifted. When this happens will depend on China’s ability to deal with COVID-19.

Concessionaires Continue to Struggle

Macau’s gambling industry has been barely hanging for the past few months. Although Bernstein previously noted that concessionaires will likely survive this crisis, their revenues have been devastated by the ongoing COVID-related troubles. Bernstein’s specialists said that September’s GGR will likely be 83% lower than September 2019’s.

As a result of the woes, several concessionaires, such as Wynn Macau and Sands China were forced to ask their parent companies for loans.  

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