Macau's Low Numbers Finally on the ReboundPublished November 14, 2020 by Lee R
Private operators will have to wait a bit longer, but Q4 in Macau should show tangible recovery.
Macau's sagging GGR numbers are improving, according to October totals.
Best Month Post Covid
Macau's Gross Gaming Revenue GGR drop of 72.5% year-on-year to MOP7.27bn (£705.1m/€781.4m/$910.5m) in October represented the highest monthly total since January.
Key Travel Permissions
The improvement was a result of the easing of travel restrictions to the Chinese Special Administrative region in September.
Sequentially, the October total vaulted 228.8% over September's MOP2.21bn and the highest monthly GGR performance since January (MOP22.13bn).
Macau's downward skid was decelerated in October, with a monthly decline less than 90% for the first time since March.
The easing of travel restrictions in Macau began in September when China resumed issuing tourist visas, and the October numbers are thus seen as reasonable indication of a recovery trend.
The fact is it that in this odd year, Macau's GGR numbers through September reached
MOP48.86bn, which was expectedly a whopping drop of approximately 81.4% from MOP246.74bn at the same point last year.
Private Q3 Performers
The quarterly totals for the private operators in Macau are slower to reflect the recent turnabout.
In recent weeks, operators including MGM Resorts have been reporting, with MGM revealing a revenue drop of 93.6% all the way to $46.9m in the three months ending September, as restrictions were maintained until the end of the quarter.
Las Vegas Sands further revealed a combined revenue drop in all its Macau operations of 91.9% to $171m; while SJM Holdings fell 89.6% year-on-year in net gaming revenue for Q3.
Macau's Industry Context
As an island economy heavily dependent on tourism and gaming, Macau's whole reason for being and source of survival is gambling. As the only region in China that allows gambling, and carrying a long reputation for being one of Asia's premier gambling hubs, the performance of the global industry as a whole is going to be significantly reflected in the ability of one its key territories to survive after the impact of Covid.
The easing of travel restrictions is clearly going to bring back players and patronage of key gambling business in Macau, which should re-stimulate performance numbers moving forward--as long as a sustainable operation model for the times is implemented in the market.