Macau Casinos Celebrate As Guangdong Lifts Covid Quarantine

The stocks of Macau casino operators are soaring on reports that China’s Guangdong province will lift its 14-day quarantine for people coming back from the world’s biggest gambling hub.

Officials in Guangdong and Macau on Monday announced “the orderly promotion of normal exchange of personnel” between the two regions. The move is expected to take effect on Wednesday 15 July at 6 am.

In late March, Guangdong implemented its Macau-specific COVID-19 quarantine rules requiring all persons arriving on the mainland from Macau to self-isolate for 14 days (at their own cost). Guangdong is the most populous province in China, and geographically the nearest to Macau, making it the single largest source of gamblers for Macau’s casinos.

Anyone seeking admission to Guangdong will have to have a negative COVID result from an approved test site and apply for entry at least 24 hours before arrival. The quarantine would also extend to people who (a) have COVID-19 symptoms, (b) have been in touch with COVID patients, or (c) have travelled overseas within 14 days of arriving in Guangdong.

Residents of Guangdong returning from Macau will stay in the province for 14 days, during which they will be expected to provide authorities with regular updates on their state of health. Non-residents from Macau will live for 14 days in one of nine Guangdong towns – Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing.

Macau officials simultaneously declared that “a valid health code and nucleic acid test certificate” must be issued by all individuals requesting admission to the local casinos.

Due to COVID-19, Macau casino operators have faced unparalleled obstacles, with the Guangdong quarantine regarded as the single biggest barrier to their revenue-generating capacity. Macau casinos posted a cumulative revenue of just $89.7 m in June, the lowest monthly total on record on the industry.

Around the time of writing, the share price of MGM Resorts is higher than 5 percent, Las Vegas Sands is 7.5 percent higher and Wynn Resorts has jumped almost 12 percent. Melco Resorts & Entertainment increased 17 percent, while SJM Holdings ended Monday ‘s trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange up just 2.4 percent following a 5 percent rise in earlier trade. Galaxy Entertainment Group witnessed a small rise and dropping, closing Monday to just 0.3 percent.

Because of recent reports of a COVID-19 revival in Hong Kong, investors in the latter two companies could be wary of rising their stakes, which resulted in a halt to negotiations aimed at easement of travel restrictions between Hong Kong and Macau.