International brokerage firm Sanford C Bernstein and Company has reportedly announced that the ultimate recovery of Macau’s casino market may well be hastened by the increasing resurgence of a pair of nearby mainland Chinese provinces.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the investment firm’s Hong Kong office used a Wednesday filing to detail that Fujian Province and Guangdong Province appear to be quickly recovering from the recent economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic and could soon once again begin permitting their around 150 million inhabitants to easily travel into Macau.
Sanford C Bernstein and Company reportedly declared that Guangdong Province has a population of over 105 million people and that its residents ‘have a somewhat higher propensity to gamble than those in other parts of the China.’ It purportedly explained that these inhabitants are thought to have accounted for approximately 45% of Macau’s 2019 tourist tally via some 12.7 million distinct journeys with roughly 72% of these having involved the use of the popular Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) program.
GGRAsia also cited the brokerage in reporting that residents of Guangdong Province are consequently believed to have been responsible for about 30% of Macau’s gross gaming revenues last year as well as in the region of 15% of its earnings from VIP play.
Reportedly read the brokerage’s filing…
“While it is difficult to show the data, one place we can see some evidence is in China lottery sales. As evidenced by lottery sales, Guangdong Province is a key lottery market comprising 10% of China’s overall lottery sales with 8% of the population. While gross gaming revenue estimates by customer origin are just that, estimates, we do have good visitation data for Macau.”
But, all of this success was reportedly stymied earlier in the year as officials in China and Macau instituted a range of travel restrictions, which included the suspension of the IVS program, as part of a concerted effort to stop the spread of a highly-contagious coronavirus strain that has so far killed in excess of 220,000 people across the globe. Sanford C Bernstein and Company purportedly predicted that these hurdles may begin to be removed in stages from next month beginning with those journeys involving tourists from mainland areas such as Guangdong Province.
The brokerage’s filing reportedly read…
“If the situation remains under control, we expect Macau will gradually begin to lift travel restrictions in the latter part of May or June.”
Should such an eventuality come to pass, Sanford C Bernstein and Company reportedly forecast that Macau could well see its aggregated gross gaming revenues for 2020 decline by only about 39% year-on-year to approximately $22.34 billion despite experiencing a first-quarter decrease of nearly 60% to $3.81 billion.