Last month reportedly saw aggregated gross gaming revenues from the 39 casinos in Macau decrease by an unprecedented 96.8% year-on-year to slightly over $94.42 million as travel restrictions implemented due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continued to bite.

According to a report from GGRAsia citing official figures from the enclave’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the April figure also represented an over 85% decline when compared with the $658.36 million recorded for March and means that the four-month figure is now some 68.7% behind the tally for the same period last year at approximately $3.91 billion.

Catastrophic controls:

GGRAsia cited international brokerage Sanford C Bernstein Limited as declaring that the substantial drop in Macau’s April aggregated gross gaming revenues had been ‘largely driven by new travel restrictions in place since late-March’ as well as ‘below normal hold rate in the second half of the month’. The investment firm purportedly moreover stated that the 30-day period had seen high-roller business inside the numerous city’s casinos top mass-market ‘with higher hold in VIP and significant volatility.’

Imminent end:

Sanford C Bernstein Limited reportedly also told GGRAsia that it estimates visitation into Macau from mainland China was as much as 95% lower than for the same period last year although it expects coronavirus-related travel restrictions between the two jurisdictions to start being lifted over the course of ‘the next few weeks’.

Reportedly read a statement from the brokerage…

“It is uncertain when Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) issuances may begin but if the trajectory of cases continues, we would expect to see some form of IVS visa begin in June and continue in a phased manner with group visa issuances beginning late this summer.”

Rapid recuperation:

For his part and Kenneth Fong from Credit Suisse AG reportedly told Inside Asian Gaming that Macau’s casino market will likely bounce back relatively quickly once Chinese officials begin allowing their citizens to travel into the enclave utilizing the IVS program. He purportedly furthermore proclaimed that ‘VIP should see faster recovery’ with pent up demand likely pushing associated revenues back up to their pre-coronavirus levels by the end of the summer.

Fong added…

“On the other hand, mass recovery is likely to be more gradual. We expect mass gross gaming revenues to go back to around 70% to 80% by the summer holidays as China may re-open IVS visas in phases and 90% to 100% by the end of the year.”