Authorities in Macau are planning to reduce the gross gaming revenue (GGR) forecast for the city’s casino industry.
Macau.- Despite an improvement in the past month and in the first week of June, Macau’s gross gaming revenue remains far from what was expected for the year to date. Macau’s chief executive Ho Iat Seng has now said that a new GGR forecast will be announced in the second half of the year as part of an amendment to Macau’s 2022 fiscal budget plan.
In November, authorities had predicted that GGR for 2022 would reach MOP130bn (US$16.2bn). However, they have been forced to modify that forecast due to the impact of the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in mainland China in the first half of the year.
Macau’s GGR for the first five months of 2022 combined stands at MOP23.79bn (US$2.95bn), down 44 per cent year-on-year. In April, the city recorded its lowest GGR level since September 2020, a drop of 68.1 per cent when compared to April 2021.
Sanford Bernstein has forecast that the average daily rate for June GGR may be up 46 per cent when compared to May but down 80 per cent when compared to pre-pandemic levels. Macau recorded an average daily rate of MOP120m (US$14.8m) last week.
Despite the ongoing economic impact, Ho has reiterated that Covid-19 countermeasures will only be eased in late summer if the risk of contagion is considered “moderate”.
Authorities have started to allow foreign tourists from Portugal to enter the city. Macau ID holders that are returning from abroad, as well as travellers from either Hong Kong or Taiwan, are currently required to undergo a 14-day quarantine in designated facilities upon entry. Authorities are looking at adopting a scheme of seven days of quarantine at designated facilities followed by seven days of home quarantine.
Mainland China continues to be the only country to have a largely quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau.
Macau could receive 40,000 visitors per day in June
The news of an extension of Covid-19 test validity for visitors from neighbouring Guangdong province has been welcomed by the gaming and tourism sectors in Macau. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, the Macau Government Tourism Office director, has said the number of tourists was between 30,000 and 40,000 when tests were previously valid for seven days.
Senna Fernandes said that the MGTO will continue to carry out promotions and offer discounts on air tickets and hotels for mainland tourists to attract more tourists to visit Macau during the summer vacation period.