International edition
September 24, 2020

According to Goldman Sachs

Macau: Business as usual despite reported changes in travel policies

(Macau).- Hong Kong–listed casino companies won’t be much affected by the reported changes to China’s travel policies toward the gambling hub of Macau, according to Goldman Sachs, which questioned whether such changes have even been made.

T

he investment bank‘s own study, in fact, found there hasn’t been a change in Chinese official policy on Macau travel. Instead, according to Goldman, delays by authorities in issuing travel visas appear related to the normal backlog that occurs during the peak summer tourist season.

“Our channel checks suggest there is no change to the official visa policy,” Goldman said, indicating that any exposure among such casino operators as Wynn Macau, MGM China Holdings and Sands China shouldn’t be dramatic.

Goldman said it also doesn’t see a significant shift underway in credit-card policy that could put a damper on tourist flows from China, explaining that a reduction in daily withdrawals by UnionPay, which will reportedly slash the amount visitors can withdrawal to us$ 157,220.34 per day from as much as us$ 1.5 million per day previously, should have limited impact.

The average high roller loses us$ 126,473 per day during a typical three-day visit, while those who rely on cash from these card withdrawals represent less than a third of Macau’s gross gambling revenue. “We believe most of these players would not gamble more than 1 million yuan per day,” Goldman analysts said, “and hence would not be affected by the lower transaction limit anyway.”

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