It may still be too early to make a definitive call on the state of casinos across Asia, and everywhere else in the world, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. COVID-19 has caused massive amounts of damage to gaming operators’ financial stability and, with new spikes of the coronavirus seen from time to time, recovery has been predicted to need at least three years by some industry insiders. However, things might be turning around and there is now an outside chance that casinos could rebound sooner than previously expected, particularly in Asia.
Based in part on the results just provided by Galaxy Entertainment, there is now room for operators to be optimistic about their recovery chances. The casino operator said that October produced positive EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and that November was on track to be the same. That was enough for Bernstein Research analysts to assert, “Galaxy is in the best liquidity position to weather the pandemic storm and should see solid recovery driven by its premium customer base.”
Bernstein isn’t the only firm to put the Asia casino sector in a more positive light moving forward. Jeffries sees the potential for a strong recovery, but would like to see more of the current COVID-19 restrictions placed on Macau and other areas reduced. The company feels that China’s Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) for the gambling city is a huge source of improvement if it can be relaxed more soon. Changes are already underway to ease travel restrictions to Macau, and the next several weeks will be worth watching to see how plans develop.
Galaxy’s positive performance isn’t the only factor that is giving way to analysts’ views on a stronger Asia recovery. Bloomberry Resorts just stated that it is close to breaking even in terms of EBITDA measurements, which would seem to indicate strong potential, especially in the Philippines. Bloomberry is behind, among others, the Solaire Resort & Casino in the country and the continued COVID-19 threat has forced the Philippines to be stricter with its health measures. Casinos have been impacted for a longer period than their counterparts in other countries, but Bloomberry is reporting positive net revenue for the third quarter of the year, which is a huge bounce from its performance earlier this year.
Other casino operators, such as Paradise Co. and Kangwon Land with their South Korean casinos, have seen improvements recently, as well. With casinos in various Asian casinos able to show positive growth as they emerge from coronavirus-forced massive lockdowns, the race is on to recover the losses they endured for the better part of the year. However, if the recent results are any indication, they’re well on their way.
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