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Macau GGR Continues To See Significant Improvements

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Adjusted expectations for Macau's July gross gaming revenue (GGR) anticipate a total surpassing MOP16 billion ($1.99 billion), as highlighted in an update from JP Morgan Securities. This positive development will provide further assistance to the Chinese special administrative region (SAR) and casino hub as it continues to rebuild from both the detrimental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and bad weather.

Optimism Increases For Macau

In the JP Morgan report, analysts DS Kim and Mufan Shi estimate the GGR across the first 16 days of July to be around MOP515 million (US$63.86 million) a day. That’s MOP15 million (US$1.86 million) more per day than it was the average in the second quarter.

Due to Typhoon Talim, which is still impacting the area, Macau witnessed a decrease in last week's GGR. The rate dropped from over MOP530 million (US$65.72 million) the previous week to approximately MOP493 million (US$61.13 million) per day last week.

Moreover, Macau's local government declared a state of immediate emergency from 5:30 AM to 8 PM on Monday due to the typhoon alert. However, even with the storm, the SAR’s casinos have enjoyed greater traffic.

Typhoon Talim arrived almost right in the middle of typhoon season, which runs from May to October. It resulted in the unforeseen cancellation of a significant number of flights and ground transfers to the city.

JP Morgan anticipated a subdued GGR for the week because of the storm, but doesn’t expect a prolonged impact. The analysts asserted in their note, “[We] still see July printing the highest GGR since the pandemic, north of MOP16 billion or over MOP515 million per day.”

According to the brokerage firm, July is projected to record the highest GGR since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The substantial GGR illustrates a substantial rebound, reaching over 90% of the pre-pandemic levels. The analysts anticipate a complete recovery of mass gaming revenue of over 100% by October.

A Long Way To Go

In January 2020, Macau surpassed MOP22 billion (US$2.72 billion) in monthly GGR. That was the last time it saw revenue above MOP16 billion.

From May to June of this year, Macau’s GGR lost 2.3%, according to figures from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. However, the SAR’s GGR for the quarter was 31.3% higher compared to the first quarter of the year. At the same time, the figure for the first half was 205.1% greater than the same period last year.

However, there’s still more room for improvement. The number of visitors to Macau during the first half of the year was around 11.6 million, with a daily average of 64,000. This is just 59.6% of the figure from the first six months of 2019, which preceded the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of that amount, 475,000 were international visitors, 31.2% of the July 2019 level. With China pushing the SAR to develop other attractions besides casinos, it anticipates a huge increase over the next couple of years.

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