The Chinese government is going to permit Macau the expansion of its transit visa scheme, as derived from statements by Li Gang, director of the Central People’s Government Liaison Office in Macau.
As per the present scheme, a person entering Macau as part of transiting to a third party country can remain seven days in the city state during their first visit of any specific month and two days while visiting for the second time in a month. Only last year, the requirement in the transit visa scheme was drawn to only five days and one day for the first visit and the second visit, respectively, which lasted for one whole year.
However, by the end of 2015, a major positive shift is going to allow visitors to reside as much as two weeks for their first entry and seven days during a second one, as recounted by multiple sources according to analysts from Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd, the only gaming specialist shop located in Macau. They believe that whatever the relaxation, the ones reaping the most profit from it ought to be majorly the VIP gambling facilitators and then premium mass segments. The transit visa is important to serious gamblers as obtaining it is comparatively easier than getting a tourist visa.
Grant Govertsen, Union Gaming analyst, released a note mentioning that the junket agents were the most badly affected ones due to July 2014’s transit visa restrictions, because it is agents who usually target spending the longest possible time in Macau so that they can accompany their customers (the gamblers) for the entire duration of the customer’s trip. Though he believes easing the visa rules to “positively influence sentiment on gaming names”, he is not very expectant on the extent of its influence in Macau’s GGR. To make it clear, he said, “All the relaxation does is allow any given person to stay longer in Macau. It does not increase the frequency of visit to Macau. Therefore, in a market where the average length of stay is barely more than a day, the ability to stay 14 days instead of seven is unlikely to have a material near-term impact.”