After posting a 1.1% increase year-on-year in overall gross gaming revenues for August to $2.4 billion, Macau’s gaming industry could be about to register its second straight month of growth following over two years of decline.
According to a report from the Macau Business Daily newspaper, figures from brokerage firm Sanford C Bernstein show that casinos in the enclave have registered gross gaming revenues of $912 million for the first eleven days of September, which represents a 3% rise year-on-year.
In addition, the newspaper reported that the average daily rate over the eleven-day period improved by $6.88 million year-on-year to stand at approximately $82.96 million.
“Assuming an average daily rate of $73.83 million to $77.59 million for the remainder of this month, September gross gaming revenue would be $2.31 billion to $2.39 billion,” read a report from Sanford C Bernstein analyst Vitaly Umansky. “This would represent a year-on-year increase of 8% to 11% or a decrease of 2% to a growth of 1% month-on-month.”
The analysis explained that the higher-than-expected month-to-date results were driven by “slightly higher VIP hold rate and volume” while gross gaming revenues have benefited from having “two weekends in the reporting period through September 11”.
Despite last month’s encouraging results, Lionel Leong Vai Tac, Economy And Finance Secretary for Macau, declared that any recovery in the local gaming industry would depend on revenues for September, which have been historically lower than those for August.
“Due to a ramp-up of new projects and better than expected VIP, September gross gaming revenues will be better than previous years compared to a historical average month-on-month decrease in September of 6%,” read the report from Umansky, which implies that the month-on-month range for the 30-day period over the previous five years ranges from a decrease of 11% to a boost of 1%.
Umansky’s research moreover indicated that second-half gross gaming revenues are expected to enlarge by 3% year-on-year with the mass-market sector recording a 15% swell despite a 9% decline in VIP takings.
But, the newspaper reported that analysts at Telsey Group hold the opposite position and anticipate September gross gaming revenues in Macau to register a 1% decrease year-on-year.
“This assumes an electronic games estimate for September, which puts monthly gross gaming revenues at $2.12 billion,” read a statement from Telsey Group analyst David Katz. “The results are ahead of previous year-to-date trends [at] 9.1% but below August [at] 1.1% trends.
Katz added that the numbers could be affected by seasonality and “some softness” due to the opening of the Parisian Macao Casino Resort.
“However, gross gaming revenue results could be positively influenced by the remainder of September due to The Parisian’s premium mass target base,” read the report from Katz.