As bad as February and March were for casino operators in Macau, analysts think April will be even worse, and JPMorgan says gambling revenue could fall to near zero for the month.
While other analysts are not quite as pessimistic, they also believe the numbers that will come out of China are going to be grim.
It's no dice in Macau
Resort operators such as Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), Melco Resorts & Entertainment (NASDAQ:MLCO), and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) were forced to close down for 15 days during the first half of February, but upon reopening, MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) said gamblers were not coming back.
February gross gaming revenue (GGR) plunged 88% from the year-ago period, hitting 3.1 billion Macau patacas, the local currency. That was the equivalent of $387 million. The figures for March show an 80% drop from the year-ago period, to 5.3 billion patacas, or $664 million.
Analysts at JPMorgan say April could be even worse, because although Macau casinos have reopened, China imposed new restrictions on tourists, including residents who return from within certain areas of the mainland, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan.
In a note to clients, the analysts wrote, "We wouldn't be surprised to see Macau printing near-zero GGR until the restrictions at the Guangdong border are lifted." It goes on to note this could be the worst month since Las Vegas Sands opened the first Vegas-style resort in 2004.
While other analysts aren't so dour, their predictions aren't much better. Sanford Bernstein told clients it believes GGR will be just 8% to 13% of what it was in 2019, which would at best equate to just 3 billion patacas.