The world-famous gambling hub Macau’s Covid-19 pandemic-hit gaming market will rebound quicker than those of Singapore and Las Vegas, credit rating agency Fitch Ratings Inc. predicted in its latest report.
Gambling and entertainment venues around the world are struggling to return to normal business with profitability following their months-long closures that were enforced by governments as part of their desperate efforts to curb the spread of the deadly corona virus pandemic that has claimed more than half a million lives worldwide. Following their recent reopening, the gambling and entertainment venues in Macau, Las Vegas and Singapore are operating at curtailed capacities with a string of health safety measures in place.
American credit ratings agency Fitch made an analysis of the casino businesses of the main hubs, and concluded that the gaming market of Macau would recover quicker than those of Las Vegas and Singapore from the adverse impact of the pandemic. Providing explanation, Fitch said that Macau’s closeness to its feeder markets would allow it to recover quicker.
In its newly-released report, Fitch said, “We expect stronger recovery in Macau given its proximity to its feeder markets and slower recovery in Las Vegas and Singapore given these markets’ greater reliance on air travel from their respective feeder markets.”
The agency affirmed the ‘BBB-’ long-term rating for Las Vegas Sands. The agency added that the revision of the rating view to negative reflects feebler operating conditions in Las Vegas Sands’ markets than the previously assumed at the start of the deadly pandemic. The report also suggested Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore would likely see declines of around 60 per cent, 70 per cent and 65 per cent in their gaming revenues in 2020, respectively.
In the same separate, Fitch affirmed the ‘BB-’ long-term rating for U.S.-based casino operator MGM Resorts International, as well as its Macau unit MGM China Holdings Limited. The rating reflected MGM’s slightly stronger liquidity position to weather the COVID-19 pandemic-caused challenges than Las Vegas sands.
Macau recently announced the resumption of the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) that had been suspended earlier this year in wake of the outbreak of the pandemic. The Special Administrative Region’s economic recovery is largely based on the return of national and international tourists. The resumption of the widely-popular IVS program means anyone from mainland China can now visit Macau without facing a risk of being quarantined. Thus, the SAR is apparently on the right track to return to its gaming-based economic recovery.