Macau Casino Revenue Up 19% to $33B in 2017

Macau Casino Revenues Up 19% to $33B in 2017Macau’s casino industry has finally returned to growth in 2017 with gross gaming revenue (GGR) climbing by 19% to $33.02 billion, according to the latest information released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. The hugely positive news ends three consecutive years of decline in which revenues fell by 2.6% in 2014, followed by 34.3% in 2015, and 3.3% in 2016.

Despite the impressive year-on-year gains, revenues generated by the Chinese gambling hub are still significantly lower than the $45.27 billion collected during its peak in 2013, with the market then falling to a five-year low the following year. Nevertheless, gaming analysts have forecast 14% growth for the market in 2018, with revenues potentially hitting new record heights in 2019.

Macau ended the year on an impressive note with December’s result up by 14.6% year-on-year to around $2.82 billion, marking 17 straight month of gaming revenue gains for the world’s biggest casino resort. Amongst the operators seeing their businesses improve in December was Sands China Ltd, Wynn Macau Ltd, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, and Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd, all of which have casinos located on the opulent Cotai strip.

SJM Holdings Ltd and MGM China Holdings Ltd, on the other hand, are not expected to open up their new casinos there until 2018 and 2019, and in the meantime the firms have seen their market share erode as a result. They will also face the added difficulty of competing against the already established casinos in the area when they do eventually open their venues on the Cotai strip, with analyst Jamie Soo from Daiwa Capital Markets Hong Kong Ltd forecasting these operators falling further behind the competition in 2018.

Helping to drive Macau’s overall gambling market forward in 2017 was an increase in “mass-market” gamblers, which helped off set a drop in high-rollers following the anti-corruption campaign instigated by the government a few years earlier. However, there is a risk that the resort’s gambling market could still suffer another slowdown if authorities decided to step up their campaign once more, or if the Chinese economy takes a hit in 2018.

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