International edition
June 22, 2021

Only 250,000 visitors arrived in the month after casinos resumed operations

What lessons can Macau re-openings offer Europe and the Americas?

What lessons can Macau re-openings offer Europe and the Americas?
The first figures have not been very encouraging: Only 250,000 visitors arrived in Macau in the month after casinos reopened, down 92% compared to 2019.
Macau | 04/03/2020

The global gaming industry holds growing expectations for “Day one after lockdown” as plenty of speculation arises over the public’s reaction, the period needed to get back on track and the financial impact the global health crisis is going to leave on the sector.

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here is a jurisdiction that can now serve as an example for the global industry in terms of an eventual recovery: Macau. Casinos in the world’s biggest gambling hub have resumed their activities after a month-long mandatory closure with initial trial measures to reduce the risk of latent spread that could inform Europe and the Americas what’s yet to come.

The first figures have not been very encouraging: Only 250,000 visitors arrived in Macau in the month after casinos reopened, down 92% compared to 2019.

To draw a comparison, on January 27, 36,000 arrived in the Chinese enclave, and by February 11, arrivals fell to 2,600. Slowly, that figure began showing the first signs of recovery, with 16,000 visitors by March 14

But to really understand the impact of the crisis, another measure should be taken into account: the average number of visitors per day.

In 2019, Macau received 108,000 daily visitors, which represents a 95,6% drop in February visitors with a total of 156,394 in the whole month, as reported by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

In the first two months of the year, 3,006,859 visitors entered the territory, which is 56.9% less than in the same period last year.

Operators Wynn Macau, Sands China, MGM China, Melco Resorts MPEL.O, SJM Holdings and Galaxy Entertainment have lost between $1.5 million and $4 million a day to keep their properties running, according to Reuters. The drop was in line with analyst expectations for a drop of about 80% to 82%.

"Forecasts for 2020 remain largely guesses at this time, with constantly changing conditions altering expectations on an almost daily basis," said Vitaly Umansky, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in Hong Kong, who had forecast the March range.

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