Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau grew at a moderate pace in June, much to the disappointment of gaming analysts.
Financial records showed that Macau casino GGR grew by 12.5 percent to approximately MOP22.49 billion (US$2.81 billion) last month compared with MOP19.99 billion ($2.49 billion) in June 2017. The result was lower than the analysts’ consensus of 18 percent.
The June results brings Macau casinos’ GGR tally for the first half of 2018 to nearly MOP150.22 billion ($18.66 billion), a year-on-year expansion of 18.9 percent.
Gaming analysts attributed several factors behind the GGR slowdown in the last two months after a having stellar runs in April and March 2018, with international brokerage Union Gaming noting that business volumes across Macau fizzled in the last week of June.
Union Gaming added that Macau continues to bear the brunt of the World Cup, with some gamblers opting to postpone their trips to Macau.
The month of June was also considered one of the toughest comps of the year. Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen pointed out that “June still grew 12.5 per cent on top of a nearly +26 per cent comparison.”
“Without truly feeling the benefit of the newest supply and against a tough comp, we think the market is demonstrating its resilience with GDP+++ growth and would look for a rebound in growth rates as comps ease and as new supply begins to ramp more closely in line with historical trends later this year,” Govertsen said in his latest industry update.
JP Morgan analysts DS Kim and Sean Zhuang agreed that Macau’s June GGR result remained resilient “considering the slow seasonality post the holiday and negative impact of the World Cup.”
Union Gaming forecast that Macau GGR’s weakness would continue in July, which faces the toughest comparison of the year after growing 29.2 percent in July 2017, as well as an unfavorable calendar with one fewer Sunday.
November marks the 16th consecutive month of growth for the world’s gambling hub of Macau.
Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the city state grew 22.6 percent year-on-year in November to reach MOP23 billion (US$2.9 billion), according to data released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ). The November GGR result beat analysts’ growth estimates of 19 percent.
The latest figures brings Macau’s market tally for the first 11 months of 2017 to MOP243.04 billion, up 19.5 percent compared to the same period last year, government data showed. The 11-month total has also surpassed the MOP223.2 billion GGR that the city state’s casinos recorded for the full 2016.
High end visitors—VIPs and premium mass—are driving Macau’s growth, according to analysts who have observed “higher quality visitors replacing lower quality visitors” in the gambling hub.
“Based on our recent on-the-ground conversations with those in the VIP space we believe that VIP could likely be a 20%+ grower in 2018. With mass likely to be a 10%+ grower in 2018, the market is shaping up to see mid-teens growth next year,” Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen said in a note.
Cheap, but high quality rooms are helping bring “better quality gaming customers” to Macau, even though the city state itself isn’t “materially busier” in the tourist areas, according to the analyst.
“Ultimately, having a greater number of hotel rooms available to marketing teams that can then be allocated to high quality players is a significant factor in the broader swapping of lower quality customers for higher quality customers,” said Govertsen.
December is expected to bring even better number for the gambling enclave. Aside from historically being a seasonally stronger month than November, this year’s December also comes with one additional Sunday. Because of this, Union Gaming analysts forecast 23 percent growth for the month, bringing the GGR to upwards of 20 percent for the full year.
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