The restrictions related to travelling from mainland China to Macau moved one step closer to easing after the Chinese province of Guangdong announced today it will be lifting the 14-day mandatory quarantine for travelers from Macau, effective July 15.
Small Step in the Right Direction
The announcement from Guagdong is a move in the right direction, yet other hurdles continue to remain in place and prevent the flow of customers for the casinos in Macau. Punters from outside of Guangdong face a 14-day stay in Guangdong on their way back from the Special Administrative Region (SAR), a requirement that cools out most of the potential interest for visiting Macau.
Furthermore, people willing to visit Macau should not have travelled abroad within 14 days prior to coming to Guangdong, sign a health declaration and have a negative Covid-19 test completed within 7 days from the date of departure. There is also no new developments regarding the other type of restrictions China imposed, visas.
Visitors to casinos in Macau will have to present a negative Covid-19 test certificate and a valid health identification code, as well as undergo temperature checks prior to entering the properties, Macau health authorities announced.
Macau Casino Industry Struggling
The news is a breath of fresh air for the casino operators in the SAR where months since the gaming properties have resumed operations, revenues are plummeting, gamblers are missing and the industry is stifling under the restrictions imposed from all three jurisdictions that usually provide access to Macau: mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The report for the first half of the year ending June 30, showed revenue was down 77.4% year-on-year, to $4.22 billion, with two-thirds of it generated during January when there were no closures or measures aimed at containing the virus spread. For June alone, generated revenue for the industry was 97% down, representing a third consecutive month of sliding more than 90% year-on-year.
Investors Showed Appetite for Casino Stocks
The news that Guangdong is lifting the 14-day mandatory quarantine for travelers from Macau spurred action on the exchanges where casino shares soared for the day. Galaxy Entertainment Group and Sands China Ltd rose more than 4% leading gains on the Hang Sang index in Hong Kong, while SJM Holdings and Melco International gained in excess of 6%. The biggest winner was Wynn Macau, though, up as much as 16%, posting its best day in trading since 2011.