Macau gaming specialist Union Gaming said Macau’s transit visa scheme is set to “undergo a significant positive shift at year end.” Being the only Macau-based gaming research shop, Union Gaming is a more authoritative voice in the investment community.
According to analyst Grant Govertsen, under the new scheme, the Macau government is likely to allow a Chinese citizen entering Macau using a transit visa to stay for up to 14 days from 7 days previously, and 7 days from 2 days previously if they are entering Macau for a second time in the same month. Serious Chinese gamblers have used transit visas in the past to enter Macau because they are easier to get than tourist visas.
Govertsen sees the VIP gaming segment to benefit the most from this visa restriction:
Interestingly, we believe the greatest beneficiaries of a relaxed transit visa scheme are those persons who facilitate VIP gambling (junket agents) and to a lesser extent premium mass players themselves. We believe it was junket agents who were the hardest hit when the transit visa restrictions were put in place in July 2014 as agents would generally want to spend as much time in Macau as possible as they want to escort their customers (the gambler) for the duration of the customer’s trip. Further, as we’ve spoken with casino operators over the past year and a half, they have indicated that some of their premium mass players had been negatively impacted by transit visa restrictions.