By Violeta Prockyte
Data shows that gross gaming revenue (GGR) for Macau casinos fell by 96.8% compared to April last year. The revenue is also 85.7% less than March’s. The data from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau showed April’s GGR was MOP754 million ($94.4 million).
Since the start of 2020, Macau’s GGR fell by 68.7% compared to year-on-year data from 2019. The four months earned Macau MOP31.24 billion, while the revenue for the same period last year was MOP99.74 billion.
Experts agree that such a drop was caused by travel restrictions and country lockdowns. Reportedly, Macau received several hundred visitors a day in April 2020, while the same time in 2019 saw close to 100,000 visitors.
Credit Suisse equity analyst Kenneth Fong said the Individual Visit Scheme could help Macau’s situation. “We estimate the pent-up demand will help the VIP business to recover to 50% once borders reopen and likely reach 100% of the pre-virus level in summer time,” he said. However, mass GGR would likely only recover by the end of the year.
In the meantime, MGM Resorts remains optimistic that summer will see the return to profits with more relaxed travel regulations. Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts International’s acting chief executive, is confident the company will recover once the COVID-19 restrictions are no longer an obstacle. It’s estimated MGM China venues cost $1.5 million a day to run, which is more than the properties currently earn.
While the casinos in Macau are open, the lack of visitors will likely continue to put a strain on the venues.