American brokerage Jefferies Financial Group Incorporated has reportedly warned that institutional investors could soon begin turning their attention away from Macau’s casino market in preference to potential opportunities in the United States.

According to a report from GGRAsia, the New York-headquartered financial services firm detailed that these prospective backers may well be put off by Macau’s recent ‘Golden Week’ disappointment and the fact that there is not destined to be another major Chinese public holiday until February. The source explained that this state of affairs has only been made worse by Beijing’s recent move to reinstate a range of coronavirus-related travel restrictions following a local outbreak of the highly-contagious ailment.

Enduring emergency:

Jefferies Financial Group Incorporated analysts David Katz and Andrew Lee reportedly used a Monday filing to declare that the post-coronavirus recovery of Macau’s casino market ‘continues to be disrupted by false starts’ and that the lack of upcoming holidays ‘should cap the pace of the rebound’. By comparison and the pair purportedly pronounced that the United States gambling industry offers a ‘clearer recovery path, high margins and growing digital opportunities’ including a rise in the prevalence of cashless gaming.

Sizeable setback:

The casino industry in Macau was reportedly hurt late last month when the local government instituted ‘immediate pandemic prevention’ measures only days before the start of the autumnal edition of China’s ‘Golden Week’ public holiday. This decision came after a pair of residents tested positive for the ‘delta variant’ of coronavirus and prompted the former Portuguese enclave to institute a four-day mass testing program that eventually turned up no new infections.

Travel turmoil:

Nevertheless, officials in nearby Hong Kong subsequently reacted by cancelling their own Come2HK and Return2HK quarantine-free travel schemes while Guangdong Province reportedly reintroduced a 14-day isolation requirement for all arrivals from Macau. This set of circumstances purportedly led to the number of ‘Golden Week’ tourists entering the city from mainland China plummeting by 99% year-on-year to just 7,393 as local casinos experienced a simultaneous 94% drop in combined daily average visitor numbers.

Capital control:

To make matters worse and GGRAsia reported that the city of Beijing introduced a measure on Saturday that obliges all inbound travellers from Macau to undergo a 14-day quarantine. This safeguard purportedly sits alongside another new requirement that compels tourists leaving the enclave to present a negative coronavirus test issued within 24 hours of departure.

Reportedly read the filing from Katz and Lee…

The ease and convenience of travel remains a key driver of visits with the primary fear of potential tourists being quarantined when returning home.”