Macau: NPC session could bring “positive” measures

Macau expects good news for its casino business after NPC
Macau expects good news for its casino business after NPC

National People’s Congress in China is expected to result in positive measures for Macau gaming industry.

Macau.- The National People’s Congress (NPC) starts in Beijing next Friday and is expected to bring good news to Macau’s gaming industry, according to analysts.

The city’s casino and gaming industry is expecting the lifting of border restrictions with the neighbouring province of Guandong to boost its economy.

Roth Capital Partners LLC stated that a relaxation of visa policies to enter Macau could “begin during or immediately following” the political conference.

Eased border restrictions could include “visa loosening” applicable to people from Guangdong wishing to visit Macau and “lesser quarantine restrictions” Roth analysts said.

The brokerage stated however that some caution was needed due to recent outbreaks in some regions of the mainland, which “could play into overall political will to open up Hong Kong/Macau more aggressively.”

Macau has not reported Coronavirus cases for 40 consecutive days. However, border restrictions remain in place including a 14-day quarantine for any mainland resident that visits Macau but wishes to return to the mainland.

But in the past week China has reported clusters of cases in areas previously lifted from lockdown measures, including Wuhan, the city in Hubei province that first reported cases of Covid-19..

The brokerage added: “The most critical variables remain: when travel restrictions from China will be lifted and in what manner; and how quickly the Chinese economy will recover.”

It said travel restrictions had been “softening” across China and there was evidence of “business getting back to normal in China across many provinces.”

According to Sanford Bernstein, Macau’s GGR is expected to decline by 41 per cent or more in 2020, but it should reach an increase of 88 per cent or more in 2021.

“These estimates are based on our assumption of visa restarts and are likely to change depending on the timeliness of the lifting of travel restrictions and visa implementation,” the brokerage added.

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