Suppliers have said that Macau’s e-gaming market will not fully recover until at least 2023, and maybe not until 2025.
Macau.- During a panel meeting at the MGS 2021 online summit, electronic gaming suppliers discussed the future of the industry and the possibility of a return to pre-pandemic levels.
Ken Jolly, Scientific Games’ vice president and managing director Asia, said: “In our thoughts, there will be a build-up of growth as visitation changes, but we don’t see back to normal until post-2025, particularly on the electronic gaming side.”
The Macau Government Tourism Office stated that the number of tourists in 2025 may be between 36 million and 41 million, possibly still lower than the 39.4 million registered in 2019.
Other speakers on the panel were more optimistic, expecting a recovery from 2023. Michael Cheers, IGT Asia Sales Director, predicted a recovery could happen by the first quarter of 2023 or the second quarter of that year.
Analysts have previously said that to fully recover GGR, Macau needs mainland China to resume group visas and allow the issuance of individual visit plan visas electronically. They say it is also necessary to allow quarantine-free travel in Hong Kong, which would increase total gambling revenue by approximately 15 per cent to 20 per cent.
Mainland China continues to be the only country to have a largely quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau. In October, analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein predicted that Macau’s GGR will reach 87 per cent of 2019 levels in 2023 and 106 per cent by 2025.
While mass-market results are expected to arrive at 144 per cent of 2019 levels by 2025, VIP results are assessed to just recover to around 46 per cent, as the segment ‘fades away’.
Analysts recently forecast that GGR for 2021 as a whole will be down 69 per cent from pre-pandemic levels but up 51 per cent when compared to 2020 figures.