Casino gaming throughout Asia has traditionally relied on foreign customers to a large degree. Therefore, factors related to international travel in the region can also have significant impacts on gaming revenue.
Asian markets seem to be facing a stronger recovery led by the VIP segment — due to factors such as higher gaming budgets, smaller number of travelers and more flexible itineraries and arrangements. However, the potential possibility of new outbreaks, especially by “imported” cases of infection, may hinder or slow down the recovery process.
Re-opening the casinos in Macau did not see a quick comeback. As the outbreak occurred, Macau’s tightened entry controls due to an increased number of imported cases of infection. This as well as neighboring Guangdong Province’s mandatory quarantine for visitors returning from Macau contributed largely to a slump in GGR.
Similarly, reliance on foreign visitors sees significant impact from travel and visa restrictions on Asian gaming during the pandemic period. While many Asian countries have imposed bans on visitors from many foreign countries during the outbreak, restrictions have slowly begun to ease over the past few weeks.
As economies gradually reopen, we expect an increasing number of resumed flights, train and bus routes, and more in the region. However, we have yet to see how fast transportation capacity will recover — considering the new seating density control measures in the post-COVID era.
General Outlook Post-COVID
While we cannot be sure how business volume will get back to pre-pandemic levels, operators in the Asian region will need to respond to distinct circumstances depending on their region. These key factors will play a huge role in the recovery of their businesses.