Macau Casino Revenues Hit 2 Year High in February

Gambling is a topsy-turvy world in which to be involved, and just as easily as you may see your profits rise or fall, so too can a relentless streak see your wagering money head in the opposite direction. As well as individual gambling, this is also true of the industry as a whole, with a recent example provided by China’s only legal gambling resort of Macau.
Between 2013 and 2016, for instance, Macau’s casino revenues contracted from $45 billion to $28 billion over an extended 26 month losing streak. On August of 2016, however, the destination finally returned its first positive year-on-year growth and since then it can’t stop winning. In fact, Macau’s casinos generated gross gaming revenues of $2.88 billion in February, according to the latest result released by the Gaming Inspection, and Coordination Bureau, representing their highest level since January 2015.
While this is all good news, the one fly in the ointment is that the figure marks a mere 3% increase compared to the same month last year, whereas revenue increases over the past four months have been averaging around 10%. Helping to explain some of the trail off in growth, however, is the Chinese New Year which this year straddled two separate months after running from January 28th to February 2nd rather than just one month like last year. Despite the unflattering comparison, Macau’s continuing winning streak has created a sense of optimism in the industry, and as Telsey Advisory Group gaming analyst, David Katz, explains:
“The upside appears anecdotally to be driven by sustained strength in the junket and VIP play as well as premium mass market play throughout the month after the Chinese New Year, which would be a surprising trend if correct.”
Following the release of February’s numbers, casino shares experienced healthy gains, with Wynn Resorts Ltd up 6.82% to $102.71; Las Vegas Sands Corp. up 3.8% to $54.96; and MGM Resorts up 1.98% to $26.83.

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