A leading brokerage firm has reportedly predicted that an ongoing casino shutdown in Macau could eventually push the city’s aggregated gross gaming revenues for the entirety of February down by as much as 95% year-on-year to around $158.5 million.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, this is the opinion of Sanford C Bernstein and Company after the former Portuguese enclave took the decision last week to temporarily shutter all of its 41 casinos so as to help stop the spread of a highly-contagious coronavirus strain that has so far killed over 1,110 people in neighboring China.

Unwelcome extension:

Inside Asian Gaming reported that a Monday note from the brokerage written by analysts Kelsey Zhu, Eunice Lee and Vitaly Umansky advised that this initial 15-day shuttering could well now be extended until the end of the month. The communication purportedly later went on to detail that such a move would seriously damage Macau’s February aggregated gross gaming revenue tally, which last year had risen by a comparable 4.4% to top $3.1 billion.

Reportedly read the brokerage’s communication…

“Forecasts for the near term are largely guesses at this time with the biggest variables being when casinos reopen and even more importantly when travel restrictions from China will be lifted. We estimate February to be down over 95%, assuming the casinos stay closed for the rest of the month.”

Initial indications:

The note from Sanford C Bernstein and Company reportedly also explained that Macau is thought to have recorded aggregated gross gaming revenues of approximately $125 million for the first four days of February. However, the memo subsequently revealed that this figure had been about 75% lower year-on-year and represented a decline of around 68% when compared with January, which had finished with the city having recorded a takings tally of almost $2.8 billion.

Exceptional impairment:

The brokerage reportedly furthermore asserted that the current coronavirus scourge, which is officially known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), will likely cause more damage to the gaming industry of Macau than was seen during 2003’s severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak. It purportedly pronounced that the sector will therefore only be able to fully recover once casinos are reopened and China ends a recently-introduced ban on group travel to the city.

The brokerage’s note reportedly read…

“For Macau, the near term looks bleak but we see a solid recovery in place in the second half followed by a strong 2021.”