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.
The Wuhan Coronavirus has killed 170 people, with almost 8000 confirmed cases as of Jan. 30. Cases have been reported worldwide, with the Philippines confirming its first outbreak on Thursday. Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Australia are among the regional nations to have reported illness.
In an effort to curb the spread, the Macau government cancelled all Chinese New Year festivities and extended the closure of government services for a further two days.
Inbound package tours from China have been cancelled, while the individual visa scheme, under which the most valuable of the casinos’ clients travel, has also been stopped. According to witnesses, shops, restaurants...
Consolidation of the bases and advancement in adversity was the thrust of Macau Chief Executive’s policy address for 2021, though it gave little away when it came to the current pillar of the economy - the gaming industry.
Gaming suppliers, like all areas of the industry, have felt the pinch from the Covid-19 crisis, though their growing digital businesses have proved a bright spot and helped offset the impact of the crisis.
While nowhere in the world has escaped the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, Macau has been hit harder than most, with forecasts for gross domestic product to shrink more than 50 percent this year.