Gross gaming revenue fell 11.3% in Macau in January to MOP$22.12 billion ($2.76 billion) as any potential bump in revenue from Lunar New Year celebrations was offset by concerns about the spread of coronavirus.
Gross gaming revenue in January 2020 was lower than every month in 2019 other than September, when GGR bottomed at MOP$22.08 ($2.73 billion).
Just 261,069 people crossed into Macau during the Golden Week Chinese New Year holiday, according to the Macau Government Tourism Office, a sharp decline of 78% from the 1,213,487 visitors that visited the region a year earlier.
China has been proactive in stopping the spread of the virus by reducing border gate opening hours while heavily restricting plane, ferry and bus travel. Macau arrivals from mainland China fell 83.3% to 149,244 as a result from nearly 900,000 a year ago.
Some industry experts said that February’s GGR could fall by as much as 40%.
Casinos with exposure to Macau were mixed in premarket trading Monday with Las Vegas Sands (LVS) - Get Report declining 0.47%, while Melco Resorts (MLCO) - Get Report rose 0.15% and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) - Get Report gained 0.23%.
The death toll in China from the coronavirus has risen to 362, while the first death outside of China was reported in the Philippines. At least 17,000 other people - including 171 people from 24 countries outside China - have been infected.
U.S. stocks fell sharply Friday after the U.S. declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency and announced mandatory quarantines for people returning from Wuhan, the Chinese province where the deadly disease originated.