Coronavirus could impact Macau gaming if it worsens: Bernstein

There has been growing concern regarding the recent pneumonia outbreak in China, which may impact Macau’s gaming industry should it get worse, said Bernstein analysts in a note on Tuesday. 

So far, there are 200 confirmed cases of the virus, with one UK study estimating there may be over 1,700 cases. 

The DICJ and the Health Bureau has responded by assisting casino operators with purchasing and installing body temperature detection equipment since early January.

Greater inspections are also being conducted at border crossings. 

“While to date the virus impact has been more muted, any major spread that begins to disrupt travel would be negative for Macau stocks,” said the analysts.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong-listed gaming stocks were hit with 5-6 percent declines principally on concerns over virus spread, said Bernstein. 

Bernstein estimates Macau GGR growth for January to be between -1 to +2 percent year-on-year. While there was some improved demand following President Xi’s visit in December, GGR has slowed in the lead up to Lunar New Year.

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