The casino industry in Macau has suffered for a long time from China’s restrictive zero-COVID policy and it shows vividly in the financial results reported for the third quarter of 2022.
Macau Casino Industry Debt May Rise to $24 Billion on the Back of Losses in Q32022
According to the results reported by the casino operators in Macau and analysis by top brokerage Morgan Stanley, the industry’s cumulative losses amounted to about $1.5 billion for the period from July to September.
This of course reflected in the companies’ EBITA for the same period, which was cumulatively a negative number of $603 million.
On the grounds of these results, Morgan Stanley has estimated that the cumulative net debt of the casino industry in Macau could reach $24 billion. As a comparison, the net debt of the industry before the pandemic started was about $5 billion.
According to the reports, the gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the six casino concessionaires in Macau for Q3 amounted to $680 million, which was about 35% lower than the GGR reported in the previous quarter this year. It was also 8% lower than the GGR for the same quarter in 2019.
In its analysis, Morgan Stanley has highlighted that there were two weeks of lockdowns in Macau in July, which are to some extent to blame for the negative financial results for the whole quarter.
It must also be noted that Macau’s casino industry GGR in September was a whopping 50% lower than in the same period in 2021. Yet it still comprised a 36% boost in comparison to the results from August, which points to the gradual recovery of the industry.
There Are Expectations of Improvement in the Next Quarter
The expectations for the fourth quarter of this year are slightly better. The October Golden Week has already seen a considerable number of visitors even though there were stricter restrictions than Macau had during the Golden Week in May.
The reported GGR during the Golden Week on a daily basis amounted to $25 million, which was about the same amount that was reported for the Golden Week holidays in May.
However, what triggers better forecasts is that the Macau government announced at the end of September that it expects to relax COVID measures in November and to start accepting tourist groups coming from China again.
The relaxation is, of course, subject to change and the final decision will come from the authorities from mainland China.