Casinos in the world's largest gambling destination Macau are looking at massive losses for the second quarter, with "not much hope" for a near-term rebound as new cases of coronavirus clouds the forecast for when China will reinstate travel visas.
Guests from mainland China comprise more than 90 percent of Macau's visitors. But, considering that travel has collapsed in the midst of an ongoing global health nightmare, Morgan Stanley warns gambling hubs in the special administrative region could generate losses of $1 billion from April to June.
Macau casino operators are seen to report a loss of this much cash collectively in their earnings prior to interest, tax, amortization and depreciation for the quarter ended June 30, a Bloomberg survey of analyst projections showed.
Each of Macau's six major operators will likely post negative quarterly EBITDA when they start releasing earnings in the next few weeks, based on a survey of eight brokerage firms. MGM China Holdings Ltd and SJM Holdings Ltd are predicted to lead the tally of year-on-year losses.
Even after loosening restrictions for some travellers, Macau saw only 2,000 guests a day this month, a small fraction of the 108,000 daily average last year, as the individual travel programs through which tourists from mainland China gain entry remains suspended.
According to Rob Goldstein, president of Las Vegas Sands, which operates properties like the Parisian and Venetian in Macau, without the individual visitation scheme being revived, "there is not much hope for the casinos to come back," Farah Master of Reuters quoted Goldstein as saying in her report.
Sales of China's Sands were nearly wiped out in the second quarter. Other groups such as Wynn Macau, Melco Resorts, Galaxy Entertainment, and MGM China will report earnings in the coming weeks.
Macau's gambling industry saw gaming revenues plummet by over 90 percent for three consecutive months beginning in April as the pandemic forced countries to barricade their borders.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong has extended its compulsory 14-day isolation on anyone arriving to the Chinese Special Administrative Region from Macau.
Macau and Hong Kong are the only two SARs in the People's Republic of China. Originally set to end August 7, Hong Kong now announced people arriving through September 7 from the gambling hub must undergo quarantine procedures for two weeks.
Based on figures from the Macau Statistics and Census Bureau, Hongkongers made 7.35 million trips to the casino center last year, accounting for almost 20 percent of the 39 million visitor arrivals.