Global investment bank Credit Suisse Group AG has reportedly again warned that the recovery of the casino industry in Macau could take much longer than earlier anticipated due to the lingering presence of coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Zurich-headquartered organization used an official Wednesday note to advise investors that it now anticipates the enclave chalking up aggregated gross gaming revenues for the whole of 2024 of approximately $28.93 billion. The source detailed that this figure would be about 20% below the $36.17 billion seen for 2019 and represent an around 18% diminution on the financial services firm’s previous forecast for 2024 of some $35.45 billion.

Capital causation:

Credit Suisse Group AG analysts Sardonna Fong, Lok Kan Chan and Kenneth Fong reportedly explained that Macau is now expected to struggle to attract the large numbers of mainland gamblers that were once common owing to China’s continuation of policies designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. These measures purportedly include a reticence to issue cross-border visas as well as quarantine periods and a crackdown on those who have visited a foreign casino more than three times since the start of 2019.

Reportedly read the Credit Suisse Group AG note…

“We believe restrictions on frequent gamblers, especially outside of Guangdong Province, are going to stay amid China’s anti-cross-border gaming effort even if the coronavirus impact normalizes in the future.”

Share slump:

Inside Asian Gaming reported that the analysts moreover lowered their individual target share prices for Macau’s six-strong club of licensed casino operators by as much as 59% to reflect the expected weakened demand. The source disclosed that this move assumes that China will not relax any of its current cross-border travel restrictions before the first quarter of next year with the enclave then going on to see anaemic initial mass-market margins due to higher marketing expenses for leisure players.

Sluggish scene:

The Credit Suisse Group AG forecast reportedly furthermore highlighted the fact that Macau casino operators will soon be paying 1% higher gaming taxes as per a piece of recently-passed legislation. The analysts purportedly then finished by noting that the city had welcomed a mere 330 mainland tourists on Tuesday, which was 99.7% lower than the daily average for pre-pandemic 2019.

The Credit Suisse Group AG note reportedly read…

“The sector should see limited downside as it stops reacting to negative news with low expectation yet it lacks catalysts with minimal earnings if not losses near-term. While long-term investors may choose to accumulate and wait, a higher risk-free rate now and highly uncertain recovery timing make it strategically less attractive. We suggest waiting for more solid signs of a sustainable gross gaming revenue recovery. Historically, a gaming cycle rally normally lasts for 1.5 years on average.”