Macau casinos see third straight weekly GGR increase

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Macau casinos see third straight weekly GGR increase

Macau’s land-based casino industry saw its third sequential weekly increases in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the period 15-21 March inclusive.

Both the Sanford C Bernstein brokerage and the investment bank JP Morgan have reported week-on-week growth for the region’s gaming market.

Macau GGR for the first 21 days of March was estimated at MOP5.85bn ($731.3m), according to Sanford C Bernstein. JP Morgan further reported that for the week ending 21 March the figure was MOP307m, the third week in a row the market has been on the up.

“This implies that last week’s run rate was… one of the highest non-holiday readings post Covid-19, having recovered back to year-end levels (i.e. before the fresh travel curb was imposed and dragged on travel/gaming demand,” JP Morgan analysts DS Kim and Derek Choi wrote in a note.

Weekly average GGR jumped 13% week-on-week, and 18% from February’s daily average, according to Sanford C Bernstein’s analysis. The firm, however, forecast that March’s full-month tally would be down “in the mid-60s percent” on the same period in 2019.

Recent results are cause for trepidatious optimism, although the firm expects “a more robust GGR uplift to begin this summer” as the world slowly makes its way back from Covid disruptions.

“We expect visitation and GGR to slowly improve during March and April,” Sanford C Bernstein analysts commented.

“However, without a major change to Covid-19 testing requirements for entry into Macau, Individual Visitor Scheme or group visa issuance changes [by Mainland China authorities], and the opening of Hong Kong, GGR and visitation will remain well below normal levels.”