After recording two months of year-on-year growth following 26 months of consecutive declines, combined casino gross gaming revenues in Macau are beginning to show sustained performance in October thanks to an increased number of tourists.
According to a report from GGRAsia, two senior officials from SJM Holdings Limited, which operates over 15 casinos in Macau including the iconic Casino Lisboa along with the nearby Diamond Casino, have expressed optimism about the future of gross gaming revenues in the former Portuguese enclave following the 1.1% year-on-year increase seen in August and last month’s 7.4% rise.
“This is a month [that gaming revenues] are starting to become stable,” said Angela Leong On Kei, Managing Director for SJM Holdings Limited. “At least there’s no more fall. I hope that this trend can last; that we can see an increase [in gross gaming revenues] by 1% to 2% [year-on-year in the coming months]. But VIP is definitely not as good as mass [revenues].”
Figures recently released by the Macao Government Tourism Office showed that the first five days of the Golden Week holiday from October 1 saw Macau welcome 852,755 visitors, which represents a rise of 8% year-on-year. Of these, 84.8% or 723,544 were from mainland China, which is an improvement of some 7.3%.
“The indication is that it [Macau gross gaming revenues] have reached a turning point but it needs to be sustainable,” said Ambrose So Shu Fai, Chief Executive Officer for SJM Holdings Limited. “So, we need to watch for one or two more months whether this really forms a trend. We saw that overall, the income is better. So from this perspective, [visitors] have spent more and we saw more visitations.”
For its part, Japanese brokerage Nomura Securities Company Limited declared in a Thursday note that it was remaining “cautious” despite proclaiming that it expects October to deliver year-on-year gross gaming revenue growth of 3% to 10% due to “strong holiday demand”.