Benjamin Toh Hup Hock, chief financial officer (CFO) at SJM Holdings Ltd, has said Macau’s GGR could reach 60 per cent of pre-pandemic levels if the city eases travel restrictions with Hong Kong in the coming months.
Macau.- While the government of Macau has predicted that GGR for 2022 will be MOP130bn (US$16.2bn), Benjamin Toh Hup Hock, chief financial officer (CFO) at SJM Holdings, reckons the figure could be bigger if Macau eases travel restrictions soon.
He said: “If the mainland China processing of travel permits for Hong Kong and Macau is resumed in the third quarter of 2022, plus the Macau-bound package tours can also resume at the same time, the gaming revenue of Macau can recover to around 60 per cent of 2019 level.”
However, he said it would be difficult to see a return of international customers before 2022 due to the low rate of vaccination against Covid-19 when compared to cities like Singapore. At last count, only 55.8 per cent of Macau’s population has been fully vaccinated.
In Macau’s budget plan, the government estimates that gaming tax income will reach MOP45.5bn in 2022. The government said it will use the city’s accumulated fiscal reserves to support expenditure on social welfare and public infrastructure projects.
Ho Iat Seng, Macau’s chief executive, has said the government is still negotiating with mainland China on resumption of the e-visa programme. Mainland China continues to be the only country to have a largely quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau.