Macau Casinos Hit 14 Month Winning Streak in September

Macau Casinos Hit 14 Month Winning Streak in SeptemberMacau’s casinos are on an impressive roll, with not even two destructive typhoons at the tail end of August able to stop the gambling resort from recording a 16.1% revenue increase in September. In fact, the MOP21.36 billion (US$2.65 billion) generated last month came in at the higher end of analyst forecasts of between 11-17%, and in the process extended Macau’s winning streak to 14-months.
As a result, the island resort has now generated revenue of MOP67 billion for the third quarter of 2017, representing a 21.8% year-over-year gain, although September’s 16.1% growth was down sharply from the 29% increase recorded in July, and 20% gain posted in August. Commenting upon the downward trend, JP Morgan Securities analysts DS Kim and Sean Huang explained in a memo:
“We believe the sharp GGR deceleration during the third quarter was purely driven by the VIP segment, with no sign of slowdown in mass.”
Nevertheless, the Chinese VIP segment which started to decline following the government’s anti-corruption clampdown of recent years are now returning to Macau. This is good news for the casinos’s baccarat product, the game of choice for high-rollers, which so far this year has accounted for around 90% of the their gaming revenue. By way of illustration, mass market baccarat revenue is higher by 6.1% for H1 of 2017, while VIP baccarat play, on the other hand, is up by a whopping 25.2%.
Looking ahead, the Golden Week holidays, which got underway at the start of October, has the potential to result in even higher year-on-year gains for Macau, with tourist numbers expected to rise by more than 5% versus the 1.2 million people who visited Macau in 2016. Backing up this prediction, Macau’s casino operators have stated that their hotels are currently fully booked from October 1-8, which marks the official period of the Golden Week holiday celebrations.
For the first nine months of 2017, Macau’s casino revenue has reached almost MOP193.38 billion, higher by 18.8% compared to the same period last year, with Deutsche Bank Securities Inc analysts Carlo Santarelli and Danny Valoy now forecasting 17% growth for the fourth quarter, which would imply a sequential quarterly growth of approximately 5%.

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