In Macau, this year’s edition of the ‘Golden Week’ public holiday could reportedly turn out to be disappointing for the city’s many casino operators due to total visitor numbers coming in below earlier market expectations.

Seven-day public holiday:

According to a report from GGRAsia citing a Monday note from investment research firm Sanford C Bernstein Limited, the annual ‘Golden Week’ period commemorates the establishment of the modern state of China with the 2018 edition running from October 1 until Sunday. The seven-day holiday usually leads to a significant spike in Macau’s aggregated gross gaming revenues due to a large number of mainland tourists travelling to the former Portuguese enclave in order to enjoy its many casinos, shops and attractions.

Period could be ‘weaker than initially expected’:

However, Sanford C Bernstein Limited analysts Zhen Gong, Kelsey Zhu and Vitaly Umansky, have reportedly warned that this year’s edition of the annual public holiday ‘is shaping up to be weaker than initially expected’ with recent online checks showing ‘remaining room availability’ across the city. They purportedly advised that hotel bookings for Macau had ‘looked strong going in’ but that this state of affairs could possibly be a mirror of 2017 where a similar situation had not led to ‘outsized gross gaming revenues.”

Combined gaming revenues still expected to rise:

GGRAsia reported that 17 out of the 27 casino hotels it surveyed had been fully booked for the six days from yesterday while Sanford C Bernstein Limited still forecast that Macau could see up to a 6% rise year-on-year in October’s eventual aggregated gross gaming revenues tally.

VIP performance takes precedence:

Numerous other industry experts pointed out that Macau’s casino industry usually relies on high-value VIP players for the majority of its takings with less well off mass-market day visitors having little impact. Despite these assertions, research from JP Morgan Securities Asia Pacific Limited analysts Sean Zhuang and DS Kim purportedly predicted on Monday that the city will record only a maximum 5% jump year-on-year in its aggregated gross gaming revenues for October.

Official data to be available soon:

Yesterday saw the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reveal that aggregated gross gaming revenues for September had increased by 2.8% year-on-year to hit $2.72 billion while the Macao Government Tourism Office is reportedly set to start issuing official ‘Golden Week’ data from later today.