Macau 2023 Mass GGR to Recover to 60-70 Percent of 2019 Levels – S&P Global

January 17, 2023 | Financial

MACAU, SAR (January 13, 2022) — S&P Global Ratings has updated its forecast for Macau’s mass gross gaming revenue, saying that the figure will return to 60 to 70 percent of the 2019 level this year, following the country’s rapid shift away from its zero-covid stance in December 2022.

The Macau News Agency reported analysts Aras Poon and Sandy Lim said in a recent report that a more rapid easing of Covid-19 control measures in China than previously anticipated should support the city’s 2023 mass GGR in rising to the upper end of their previously forecast 50-70 percent range.

Those arriving in Macau from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan no longer need to present any proof of Covid-19 testing. Chinese authorities reopened its borders and scrapped quarantine for overseas arrivals on 8 January.

The reduced testing and removal of quarantine measures came earlier than the credit rating agency’s prior expectation of a gradual relaxation in the second quarter of 2023.

The analysts said that it would “lower entry hurdles for individuals entering Macau and support a recovery in visitation”.

According to data from the Public Security Police Force, the daily average of visitor arrivals stood at 36,462 in the three days after the end of pandemic-related requirements on 8 January.

The analysts believe that Macau’s GGR recovery would improve “sustainably” if the current wave of infections began to subside after the Chinese New Year holiday.

In the first few months of the year, the recovery could be gradual, as high caseloads in China could initially make people reluctant to travel to Macau, the research report noted, adding that the recovery is likely to accelerate more significantly in the second half of the year to above 80 percent of the 2019 level.

The “biggest downside risk”, according to the analysts, is the “fear among the public” when large numbers of people contract Covid-19, which may lead to more voluntary social distancing and more suspension of activity and spending.

The possibility of renewed imposition of restrictions cannot be fully ruled out, which could cause a slower ramp-up in Macau’s mass GGR recovery, the credit rating agency pointed out.

SOURCE: Macau News Agency.

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