Macau’s pandemic-hit casinos have started seeing a ray of hope for their recovery as the world’s leading casino hub is slowly but surely easing some of its quarantine requirements on visitors.
In response to an outbreak of new wave of COVID-19 cases in the neighboring province of Guangdong earlier this year, Macau implemented strict quarantine mandates on visitors coming from Guangzhou cities like Foshan, Shenzhen, Maoming, and Zhanjiang. Any visitor coming to Macau from these cities was placed under quarantine for a period of two weeks (14 days).
But, the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has now announced that two cities, viz. Shenzhen and Maoming, have been excluded from the mandatory quarantine list.
The decision is a big relief the Macau’s gaming industry, which has long been struggling to survive amid non-stop cases of the potentially-deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Through the January to May period of this year, Macau casinos’ collective gross gaming revenue (GGR) slipped 66 per cent from the pre-pandemic corresponding period. In case, the pandemic-related restrictions are not lifted within the next few weeks, the gaming industry could suffer another steep decline in revenues.
According to some industry analysts, GGR for the month of June will be around just $865 million, significantly down from $1.31 billion in May this year.
In a recently published note to the investors, the Bernstein explained, “The impediments to Macau travel are still largely in place. Daily visitor arrivals to and departures from Macau averaged only 30,000 during June 7-13, which was down 26 percent vs. the prior week of May 31 to June 4.”
The note added that any easing of travel restrictions would most probably increase visitation and GGR.
Macau otherwise continues to remain relatively isolated as the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China is only allowing entry from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. On arrival, all visitors are required to present a negative COVID-19 test report.
Meanwhile, Macau’s Tourism Office has launched a new marketing campaign called “Stay, Dine, and See Macau” to lure more visitors from the mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The campaign encourages people to stay and enjoy sometime in the world’s leading gaming hub. For the few lucky who are able to enter the SAR now, five-star glitzy casino hotel rooms are available at discounted rates. For a two-night stay at The Venetian now costs merely $238.