Shanghai (China), Sep 26 (EFE).- The casino operating companies in Macao experienced significant increases in the stock market on Monday morning after the head of the Government of the former Portuguese colony, Ho Iat-seng, announced measures to facilitate the entry of Chinese tourists from November.
At mid-session, Sands China was up no less than 18.48%; SJM, 13.43%; Wynn Macau, 9.33%; Galaxy Entertainment, 9%, and MGM China, 6.85%.
As an example of what the pandemic has meant for them, the first of the aforementioned companies has lost more than 50% of its stock market value since the beginning of 2020.
According to the official website of the Macao Executive, Ho assured this Saturday that tourists from mainland China will be able to reapply for electronic visas for Macao – whose autonomy regime means that it has a border with the rest of the country to which it belongs – and that it will be allowed the entry of organized group trips from various provinces.
These measures are expected to come into force “at the end of October or beginning of November”, and the objective is to increase the daily number of visitors to around 40,000 people, although the program may be suspended in the event of serious outbreaks of covid both in Macao as well as in the regions that will initially participate in it.
Ho acknowledged that tourism from mainland China is “extremely important” for Macau, the only place in the country where gambling is legal and the world’s casino capital along with Las Vegas (USA).
According to official data prior to the pandemic, more than half of the economic activity in the former Portuguese colony came from gambling-related businesses, which were in turn the main generators of employment in the city.
However, the pandemic caused an “unprecedented” drop in revenue for the gaming industry due to the suspension of the entry of tourists.
Since 2020, some measures have been approved to relax restrictions on the entry of people, especially those from the province of Canton, adjacent to Macau, although electronic visas and organized group visits – which greatly favored the influx of tourists – continued suspended until now.
Government data shows that, in the last week, the city received an average of almost 21,000 visitors a day.
(c) EFE Agency