CHINA (MACAU). Gaming companies and travel sector stakeholders including retailers such as DFS are hoping that the nationwide resumption of Macau’s Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) on 23 September will prompt a resurgence of visitors and spending.
The IVS was suspended in late January as the COVID-19 outbreak escalated in China, leading to a dramatic slump in visitors.
As reported, the IVS resumed for residents of neighbouring Zhuhai in Guangdong Province from 12 August. The scheme returned for all other Guangdong Province residents from 26 August.
The 23 September resumption of the IVS to the entire Mainland has spurred hopes of a spending boom in Golden Week, which begins on 1 October.
According to Inside Asian Gaming (IAG), the September recovery has so far been modest. Citing a note from investment bank JP Morgan, IAG reported yesterday that daily gross gaming revenue (GGR) over the past week had reached approximately MOP$115 million (US$14.3 million). This was a solid improvement on the MOP$80 million (US$9.97 million) per day in the first week of September and three times higher than the MOP$40 million (US$4.98 million) recorded in July and August.
Daily visitor numbers had reached about 15,000 through September compared with 2,500 through July and under 8,000 in August, IAG said.
Referring to JP Morgan’s note, IAG said that the analysts estimate September GGR to reach between 15% and 20% of last year’s level in September rising to between 40% and 50% in October, boosted by Golden Week.