Macau continues to search for improvement as 2020 comes to an end

Macau city

The first week of December delivered a drop in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for Macau’s casinos following a similar decline that ran in November. There are now only two weeks left in the year and the chances of ending 2020 on a high note aren’t looking great. The only bright spot is that the second week of the month has brought a little better GGR report to the city, but the year’s performance is still going to end up being a write-off. 

Macau city

The average daily rate (ADR) of GGR in Macau hovers around $32.2 million, according to data provided by the Sanford C. Bernstein brokerage. This is much better than the $25 million that was reported in the first week, and the total for December 1-13 was around $375 million, or an ADR of $28.8 million. Comparatively speaking, this performance was a 14% jump over November’s performance, but it is still off by around 65% from where Macau’s GGR was a year ago.

The end result for 2020 will most likely be a GGR decline of around 65-69%, according to Bernstein analysts Vitaly Umansky, Tianjiao Yu and Kelsey Zhu. It’s essentially time to just tread water through the end of the year and hope that 2021 brings much better results. The analysts believe this is possible, predicting that the year-end numbers next year could be close to around 80% of what they were last year. Full recovery, however, won’t be possible until 2022. 

The eventual improvement could be fueled by Wynn Resorts and its Wynn Macau Ltd. operations, which have already gotten a head start on recovery. The company reports that its GGR in both October and November was better than what had been seen in the rest of the local market and this could ultimately give the city a boost in returning to normal. Wynn Macau saw GGR in the two months that was 31% of what it was in the same period last year, but this was still better than the 28.4% average for the entire local market.

That result was highlighted by analysts with Deutsche Bank Securities, who asserted yesterday that the uptick demonstrates “modest share improvement relative to the fourth quarter 2019,” adding that it is an important result “given the softness in [Macau] VIP and the perception that this [high-end] softness will cause Wynn [Macau Ltd] to lose share.”

Wynn figured out how to cut expenses this year, reducing its outlay by around 23% in October and November. During that period last year, the company spent around $3 million, but was able to reduce the amount to $2.3 million this year. Still, it is moving forward with plans to offer senior notes to professional investors to augment the $2.1 billion it has in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents. The amount to be provided through the senior notes wasn’t specified.