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Macao casinos set to get a boost from easing travel restrictions

Updated June 11, 2020 - 9:24 am

Travel restrictions are being lifted between China’s Guangdong Province and Macao, a move that could spark increased business for Las Vegas companies operating in the Chinese gambling enclave.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Wynn Resorts Ltd. on Thursday, the company said, “beginning in June 2020, certain restrictions are being eased as the region gradually recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

U.S.-based gaming industry analysts called the news “a step in the right direction.”

“It has been announced that Guangdong Province, a People’s Republic of China province adjacent to Macao, has eased quarantine requirements for those traveling between Guangdong Province and Macao,” the Wynn filing said. “Certain groups of people, including students, teachers and certain non-resident workers who are PRC citizens can travel between Macao and Zhuhai, a PRC city adjacent to Macao, subject to certain health declaration and testing requirements.”

The filing also said restrictions from Hong Kong will remain through at least July 7.

“We view Wynn’s update on Macao travel restrictions as a small, and incremental positive, move toward thawing currently in place travel restrictions,” Joe Greff of New York-based J.P. Morgan said in a note to investors.

Carlo Santarelli of the New York office of Deutsche Bank, analyzed Wynn’s finances in China in his note to investors.

“As of May 31, Wynn Macau has $1.71 billion of cash on hand and $24 million of remaining (revolving credit) capacity,” Santarelli said. “This is relatively unchanged from the April 30 liquidity noted on May 6 when Wynn reported first-quarter earnings. We estimate the monthly cash expense, including interest and capital expenditures, is about $97 million, thereby implying about 18 months of liquidity prior to the note issuance.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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