In Macau, gross gambling revenue increased 8.5 percent for November, exceeding analysts’ expectations with signs of a potential rally in the VIP sector.

Asia Gaming Brief reports that according to figures from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), for the month of November revenue was MOP25 billion ($3.1 billion) while average daily revenue came in at MOP833 million.

Upwardly revised estimate:

The news agency further reports that according to Bernstein, the gain was more than its 7 to 8 percent upwardly revised estimate for growth and more than two times the consensus estimate for a 4 percent gain. High hold in VIP reportedly helped the figure, with it being estimated at 3.3 percent to 3.4 percent.

Bernstein said, “Had hold been more normal at 3 percent, y/y growth would have been 4 percent. We estimate VIP GGR was up 10 percent y/y and Mass was up 7 percent.”

The firm also estimates that for December, growth will be between 6 and 8 percent. It noted, however, that last year December was relatively weak.

Bridge use likely cause of spike:

Asia Gaming Brief continued that according to Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen, there doesn’t appear to have been any noticeable increase from the October 24, 2018 opening of the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge, with utilization of the bridge by Mainland visitors to reach Hong Kong without spending time in Macau, likely attributing to the recent spike in visitor numbers.

“It will take many quarters, if not years, for the bridge to begin to have a material impact on Macau’s gaming industry and we continue to believe it will most likely be in the form of a more robust MICE market,” said Govertsen.

Mass outpacing VIP:

Mid-single digit gross gaming revenue for 2019, with mass outpacing VIP, is anticipated by the firm, according to the news agency.

The 2018 edition of the ‘Golden Week’ public holiday, as well as the subsequent opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, reportedly helped Macau to record a 9.2 percent increase year-on-year in October visitor numbers to 3.15 million.