Amid the new local Covid-19 cases, authorities will adjust Macau’s 2021 budget forecast predicting a decline in casino gross gaming revenue.
Macau.- As Macau deals with new local Covid-19 cases, Ho Iat Seng, Macau’s chief executive, has said the city will have to revise its budget as he expects casino gross gaming revenue will fail to recover.
Ho Iat Seng said he had no expectation that an easing of border restrictions between Zhuhai and Macau would help boost arrivals for the upcoming October Golden Week holiday.
Andy Wu, president of the Travel Industry Council of Macau, had predicted the city could receive 40,000 daily visitors during the holiday period while Macao Government Tourism Office director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes had predicted 35,000 visitors a day.
However, analysts at JP Morgan Securities now believe expectations for the national holiday could be deeply affected by new countermeasures.
Macau urges residents to get vaccinated
One of the main problems according to Ho Iat Seng is that Macau has a low rate of vaccination with only 47 per cent fully vaccinated. As a result, Macau seems unlikely to remove its travel restrictions for people coming from places beyond mainland China before 2022.
“Many people complain the economy is not doing well but every sector in society needs to make an effort to build herd immunity. I can’t just go to the central government with a 50 or 60 per cent vaccination rate.”Ho Iat Seng, Macau’s Chief Executive
Morgan Stanley has predicted Macau’s GGR will reach MOP96.77bn (US$12bn) in 2021, 33 per cent of that seen in 2019. That figure would still be up 60 per cent when compared to the MOP60.44bn achieved in 2020, which bore the brunt of the pandemic’s impact.
Morgan Stanley predicts that a recovery to pre-pandemic levels may now take until 2023 due to the “lower efficacy for certain vaccination” and the effect of the Delta variant.
Macau GGR down 47.7% in August
Macau’s Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) declined by 47.7 per cent month-on-month in August, a month that was impacted by local cases of Covid-19 and hundreds of cancelled flights. At MOP$4.44bn (US$554.5m), it was the lowest monthly GGR figure since September 2020.
Aggregate casino GGR for the first eight months of the year totals MOP$61.91bn, up 70.1 per cent year-on-year when compared to the MOP$36.39bn reached during the previous year period.
May remains the month with the highest GGR of the year to date, mainly thanks to the Labour Day break, when Macau’s Public Security Police reported that 165,500 tourists came to Macau.