Macau’s New COVID-19 Restrictions After Outbreak Will Result in Lower GGR
- Macau has so far recorded 36 confirmed COVID cases this week
- The resurgence of COVID-19 will affect Macau’s casino GGR for June and July
- The city is currently implementing tighter restrictions to curb the virus
Macau has seen a resurgence of COVID-19 cases over the past few days, with a total of 36 people infected so far, according to figures released by the city’s Health Bureau on June 20. Macau last dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak back in October 2021.
The recent rise in positive cases has resulted in more restrictions for visitors to Macau, with strict measures also implemented across the city. Travelers from Guangdong province in particular are now required to present a COVID-19 test certificate taken within 24 hours.
Over the weekend, Macau recorded a considerable drop in the volume of tourist movements, with Sunday’s figure only sitting at 20,400, a 53.6 decline from Saturday’s number.
Negative Impact on GGR
With COVID-19 cases on the rise once again in Macau, casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) is expected to take a hit given the tighter restrictions currently in place to curb the spread of the virus. Investment research and institutional asset management company Sanford C Bernstein Ltd already lowered its GGR estimate for June this year to just 9% of the figure recorded during the same period in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reduced forecast means that the daily rate of GGR for June is projected to decline by 31% from the previous month. Sanford Bernstein analysts said the number could go lower than that if more restrictions are implemented.
Macau has already identified eight “red” lockdown zones (workplace or residence of positive cases), with five areas also classified as “yellow” zones (areas that require precautionary measures). Those located in the red zones have limited movement and will undergo COVID-19 tests on-site while in isolation.
According to Health Bureau official Alvis Lo lek Long, 26 of the 36 confirmed cases are asymptomatic. It remains unclear though whether the new positive cases came as a result of mass testing carried out across the city since Sunday noon. Based on figures released by the Health Bureau, tests have already been carried out on 459,687 Macau residents, 269,628 of that returned a negative result.
No Plans Yet to Close Casinos
Non-gaming areas and facilities at Macau resorts, including restaurants, have temporarily shut their doors since Sunday amid the ongoing measures to fight the latest outbreak.
Hotels remain open, with some offering huge discounts for nightly rates. While authorities currently have no plans to close the casinos something they did in 2020, revenues are expected to drop “close to zero” for at least the next week, which could extend through to July, according to analysts.