According to a report by Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd., an investment research and institutional asset management company, casino revenues in Macau fell by 48% in the first week of August.
The study found that the average daily gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell by 48% in the first week of the month compared to the previous week, according to the Macau Daily Times. The amount of 125 million patak (about $ 15 million) is the lowest daily GGR since the end of September 2020.
The main reason for the drop in revenue is the Covid-19 Delta variant, four cases of which were reported on August 3, as the scenario of a potential outbreak remains likely, since the affected people were in contact with the community.
However, seven days passed without new cases of Covid-19 surfacing, which prompted the government to cancel the “immediate prevention” regime that was applied from August 3 to 10, after the discovery of these initial cases.
During this preventive period, cross-border travel was restricted, and security measures were taken against the spread of the disease, including the requirement to provide negative results for Covid-19 for those traveling to Macau.
Mass testing was also conducted among the population of Macau, and although casino operations were discontinued on August 4, some other activities were restricted, which ultimately indirectly affected the casino industry, as fear of the spread of the Delta variant prevailed.
More than three dozen casinos in the area produce half of the local GDP and were not required to suspend operations on the condition that they would close “immediately” if any case was discovered.
“Last time we closed the casino for a few days, because the casinos were infected. There is no infection this time, but if we find any cases in the casino, we will immediately close this casino, ” CEO Ho Iat Seng said on August 4, referring to the measures taken in February 2020.
Now that the restrictions on the borders have been lifted and the “immediate prevention” status has been lowered to “prevention”, it is believed that the situation is now under control, which will allow casino operators to return to their previous income level.
However, the Macau Daily Times reports that the results of August are expected to show a 30% decrease compared to July, the second best month since the beginning of the pandemic; and 70% less than in 2019.