Macau's gaming revenues fell 80% in March

Macau’s gaming revenues fell 80% in March as the world’s biggest casino hub is hit by coronavirus

  • Macau announced $664m revenue from gambling in March, down 79.7 per cent 
  • Meanwhile casino owners are paying up to $4million per day to remain open 
  • Territory has imposed restrictions on visitors to slow the spread of coronavirus  
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Gambling revenues in Macau plummeted last month after the casino hub imposed strict curbs to tackle the spread of coronavirus. 

The territory’s gambling regulator announced total revenue of $664million during March, a drop of 79.7 per cent compared to the same month last year. 

Meanwhile operators Wynn Macau, Sands China, MGM China, Melco Resorts, SJM Holdings and Galaxy Entertainment are all spending between $1.5million and $4million a day to keep their properties running.

Macau announced a fall in gambling revenues of almost 80 per cent on Wednesday, as casinos were hard-hit over coronavirus (pictured, an empty Venetian Macao hotel)

The March figure was roughly in line with analyst expectations for a drop of about 80 per cent to 82 per cent, however.

‘Forecasts for 2020 remain largely guesses at this time, with constantly changing conditions altering expectations on an almost daily basis,’ said Vitaly Umansky, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in Hong Kong, who had forecast the March range.

Last week, the Chinese special administrative region banned entry by visitors from mainland China, neighbouring Hong Kong and Taiwan who have travelled overseas, following earlier bans on foreign visitors and non-resident workers.

Visitors from the Greater China region account for more than 90 per cent of tourists to Macau. 

Macau has imposed strict restrictions on travellers from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong over coronavirus (pictured, Macanese people in protective gear arrive on a repatriation flight)

Although casinos were open throughout March after a two-week suspension of operations in February, visit and health restrictions hit revenues, say analysts.

Many expect revenues to keep falling at the same pace, with some even forecasting almost no revenue while the curbs stay.

Macau said it expects a drop of 56 per cent in annual gross gaming revenue this year to 130 billion patacas ($16.3 billion), down from 260 billion patacas forecast last year.

Macau earns more than 80 per cent of its revenues from casinos. 

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