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Over 100,000 apply for Macau-Guangdong border clearance on strong pent-up demand

More than 100,000 people have tried to complete the transcoding procedures connecting the health codes of Macau and Guangdong Province over the past two days, with more than 30,000 gaining customs clearance since it was announced late Monday that the 14-day mandatory quarantine on visitors returning to Guangdong from Macau would be removed from 15 July.

The figure, provided by Macau’s Contingency Coordination Center on Tuesday, supports suggestions Macau’s casino and resort operators will benefit from pent-up demand since the quarantine restrictions were first implemented on 27 March.

To be granted customs clearance, Chinese visitors must provide a mainland China mobile phone number in order to declare their health every day and so the Macau government can contact them if necessary.

In a Tuesday note, Union Gaming analyst John DeCree said, “In the US, we are seeing strong pent-up demand in the local regional gaming markets as casinos begin to reopen. Guangdong and Hong Kong serve as the local markets for Macau, and as travel restrictions ease, we anticipate a similar surge in pent-up demand.

“While the negative COVID-19 nucleic acid test and health requirements still create some notable consumer friction, the relaxed border restrictions should facilitate additional visitation and ultimately GGR for Macau – marking the first step towards recovery after three months of virtually no revenue.

“In 2019, Guangdong comprised about one-third of all visitation to Macau but we suspect the GGR contribution was even greater.”

The Contingency Coordination Center also revealed it is negotiating with Zhuhai City to open the border to vehicles with license plates of the two cities, with a resolution expected within days.

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