Macau-related casino stocks took a hit on the news that China’s legislature was reviewing an amendment to the country’s criminal law that could establish a new criminal definition for overseas gambling operations aimed at luring Chinese citizens.
Casino stocks fall on fears of fresh clamp (The Standard)
As the Covid-19 crisis descended upon, first, China, then the world, the six Macau operators have not been idle in their CSR efforts, in spite of the mandated casino closures and reopenings under difficult economic conditions.
Looking at the Chinese New Year visitation figures for Macau, it’s difficult not to be pessimistic about the near-term outlook for gaming in Asia, though analysts say underlying demand remains strong and there is likely to be a snap back once the situation improves.
Macau’s operators have stepped up their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts in recent years, in particular when it comes to China cultural cooperation, which may help their case when it comes to concession renewal.
Melco Resorts & Entertainment and MGM China outperformed their peers in the latest reporting season, as the ramp up of new product offerings drove growth.
“The Londoner will complete from the interior perspective by December,” Las Vegas Sands President and COO Robert Goldstein said at the earnings conference call yesterday.
Sands China reported a net loss of US$562 million in Q3, with net revenues falling 92.1% year-on-year to US$167 million. Group-wide operating losses were US$610 million with an 82 percent decline in net revenues.
Macau's six operators are expected to post a collective EBITDA loss of $823 million for Q3, improving from a loss of $1 billion in Q2, according to a Bloomberg poll of analysts.
Macau’s visitor tally for 2020 could see a year-on-year decline of over 90%, having already witnessed a decline of 87% in the first eight months, according to the Macau Government Tourism Organization.
Jia Kang, the former head of the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Studies, predicts "stable development for Macau's gambling industry, even though Beijing is preparing a legislative amendment to stop capital flight for gambling.
Macau might have an important role to play in the launch of China’s digital yuan if the city’s casinos adopt the currency instead of the Hong Kong dollar, according to analysts.
China is accelerating the launch of the digital yuan in the Greater Bay Area with a special pilot in Shenzhen.