A significant increase in Macau’s daily gross gaming revenue (GGR) registered in the first 11 days of July is bringing back hopes that the gaming industry will somehow manage to rebound strongly in the second half of 2021 and return to pre-pandemic levels.
Daily Average GGR Rebounding
Daily GGR from July 1 to July 11 jumped 29%, reaching MOP282 million ($35.3 million) compared to MOP218 million ($27.3 million) for the respective period in June, Sanford C. Bernstein brokerage firm pointed out.
Against the respective period prior to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in July 2019, daily GGR numbers are falling short by 64%, the brokerage outlined, while VIP and mass gross gaming revenue grew 25% and 26%-28%, respectively, on a sequential base.
Macau’s Financial Services Bureau (FSB) recently revealed tax revenue for the first six months of the year of MOP19.6 billion ($2.46 billion), just 39.3% of the entire 2021 tax estimation, and a 9.8% drop on H1 2020 when the coronavirus already impacted the industry.
According to the brokerage, the increase in daily revenues in July was due to travel developments between the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China and neighboring Guangdong Province, which saw Macau officials remove travel restrictions for residents of the province.
The rise in visitation numbers from Macau’s “largest feeder market” began in the last third of June, and compared to the generated on average MOP244 million ($30.5 million) of daily gross gaming revenue in that period of ten days; July’s streak represents a 16% increase.
Visitation Numbers on the Rise
From July 1 to July 7, the daily number of visitors arriving to and departing from Macau averaged 36,500, up 4% compared to the number of visitations for the respective period in June, but down 36% compared to the same 7-day period in May.
The number of visitors is expected to continue to increase, as currently only the city of Ruili in Yunnan remains on the mandatory quarantine list and the validity of coronavirus tests has been increased from 48 hours to 7 days. Further, Macau officials are planning to re-open the border with Hong Kong via the implementation of a special “blue health code” system for visitors from the country.
“We forecast July GGR to be down high-50’s [percent] compared to July 2019 (up ~50 per cent m/m from June 2021). We expect GGR improvement beginning in late summer as [COVID=19-related] travel constraints begin to fall away.”
Sanford C. Bernstein
FY2021 gross gaming revenue is on track for a 144% improvement on MOP60.44 billion ($7.57 billion) in FY2020, Bernstein concluded.