Operators saw a small recovery in October but mainly in the premium mass segment.
Macau.- Financial analysts believe there will be growth in visitation to Macau from travellers that avoided Golden Week in October but VIP business will continue recovering at a very slow pace.
A note by Jefferies said: “We believe the gradual recovery is due to pent-up demand from patrons avoiding [Macao] during Golden Week.
“The VIP business remains challenged due to liquidity pressures, and we therefore expect a slow and gradual recovery.”
All major casinos reported a rise in visitation in October beyond Golden Week. This resulted in a 72.5 per cent drop in the month’s gross gaming revenues year-on-year after a semester with falls of over 90 per cent each month.
However, S&P Global said that reaching pre-pandemic levels will take some time as yet.
Analysts said despite the lifting of travel restrictions from the mainland, “the industry is set for a slow recovery, mainly due to the requirement for a negative Covid-19 test and the lengthy processing period for tourist visas.”
The only visitors allowed are those arriving from China, and they must not have visited a foreign country within 14 days.
So far, operators saw a recovery in the premium mass segment, defined as wealthy middle-class individuals placing big bets. This segment is crucial to driving a recovery with the gradual easing of visa backlogs.