Uncertain regulation threatens recovery of Macau’s gaming industry

Matthew Calleja 1 year ago
Uncertain regulation threatens recovery of Macau’s gaming industry

The Gaming industry in Macau faces turbulent times, having not yet fully recovered from the pandemic. With a potential variant of the virus looming on the horizon, there is risk of a reinstatement of travel restrictions. This would not bode well for the low visitation levels currently in slow recovery. Regulation remains uncertain.

Fitch Wire reports Macau gaming recovery as ‘distant’

After recent reports of regulatory turmoil, rising Covid infections and casino stock plunges, full recovery remains distant in Macau. “Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) recovery curve for 2022-2024 assumes revenues are 27%, 50% and 70% of 2019 levels, respectively,” reports Fitch Wire.

In support of visitation and GGR, China will resume eVisa and packaged tours to Macau this November. This is set to assist the recovery kickstarted by visits during the National Day Golden Week celebrations. Regulation around visitors from mainland China is relatively lax, requiring zero quarantine testing within a 48-hour window prior to entering.

Further easing of restrictions can speed up economic rejuvenation, but this is unlikely. Higher infection rates are currently plaguing China, following the celebrations. The reinstatement of tighter restrictions threatens to nip in the bud any recovery achieved by the gaming industry, as well as visitation to the island. Fitch revised China’s GDP for September 2023 to 2.8% from June’s 3.7%.

Stronger yields from larger, healthier, globally diversified parent companies can counterbalance economic downturn from some of Macau’s casinos. For instance, Las Vegas Sands’ and Wynn Resort Ltds.’s recent subordinated loan agreements are fully expected to assist the situation.

Given the murky waters, regulatory policy remains uncertain, further hitting the credit rating for Macau. Concession talks between the government and seven bidding companies remain stalled, both sides vying for concrete projections from the other. This further blurs the possibility of onerous capital commitments.

THE 300 SPARTANS:

After triumphing in key locations across Asia and Europe, AGS is flying 300 top affiliates to Malta, for an all-inclusive deluxe trip. The event will happen alongside SiGMA, 14-18th November, during SiGMA Europe.

Read more about the 300 Spartans here.

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