Covid-19 turns out lights in most of Asia’s casinos
From India to Australia, casinos across the Asia Pacific region have closed their doors in response to efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, with little to no visibility at present as to the evolution of the situation.
The fast-changing nature of the crisis has left analysts scrambling to find a basis to rewrite their forecasts for the coming quarters, as operators struggle to cut high overheads in the face of collapsing revenue.
In Macau, the casinos remain open, but the borders to the outside world are closed with the territory seeking to prevent reinfection from a series of imported cases. The government has forecast a drop in gross gambling revenue of about 55 percent this year, compared with 2019, although equity analysts are slightly less pessimistic, with Jefferies putting the likely decline at around 45 percent for 2020, before a strong rebound of almost 33 percent next year.
Singapore police have busted at least two illegal gambling operations in the past week, while across Asia authorities have moved to stamp out illicit activities, from raids on premier league matches in India, to illegal number forecasting in Malaysia.