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Mainland, Hong Kong eased travel can aid Macau in 2022

11/18/2021| 6:29:09 PM|

Macau’s leader has said getting to 80 percent of inhabitants having received two jabs would be a basis for talks on travel easing.

Macau’s 2022 casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) might reach approximately “60 percent” of the pre-Covid 19 level seen in 2019, if the city succeeds in easing travel arrangements with Hong Kong, and sees further improvements in movement between mainland China and Macau, suggested Benjamin Toh Hup Hock, chief financial officer (CFO) at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd.

Macau’s 2019 GGR tally was just under MOP292.46 billion (US$36.5 billion), so by Mr Toh’s forecast, 2022 GGR might reach circa MOP175.47 billion if the market is helped by the return in numbers, of Hong Kong and mainland Chinese consumers.

Recently the Macau government cautiously forecast 2022 casino GGR at MOP130 billion, though it was not clear whether the authorities were explicitly excluding from their calculations the possibility of Hong Kong consumers rejoining the market during that year. A number of investment analysts has said such customers accounted for at least 15 percent of Macau’s annual GGR in pre-pandemic times.

It would be “very difficult” for Macau tourism to see a return of international customers in 2022, given the current percentage of people in the city that are vaccinated against Covid-19, Mr Toh told the panel. He noted that by contrast Singapore, another Asian casino jurisdiction, had a higher vaccination rate.

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TAGS: Macau | Hong Kong | mainland China
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