Macau Casinos Post Third Straight Month of Growth in October

Macau’s casinos market is gaining pace, according to the latest results released by the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, and in October posted an impressive 8.8% increase in revenues to $2.73 billion. That figure is not only the highest amount recorded in 21 months, but also completes three straight months of year-on-year growth, with revenues also rising in August (1.1%), and September (7.4%).
Prior to this trilogy of positive results, China’s only legal gambling resort had been suffering the fallout from a slowing economy, and a government led anti-corruption campaign drive initiated in 2014, with its last y-o-y growth stretching back to May 2014. October’s increase also beat analysts’ predictions of between 4% and 6%, and commenting on the news, Stifel analyst Steven Wieczynski stated:
“On the whole, we have somewhat mixed feelings on the October GGR print, and encourage investors to temper their enthusiasm accordingly. Though better-than-expected GGR performance during the first full month comprising both of the market’s recent new openings is clearly a positive sign, our market sources suggest the majority of the strength was VIP-driven.”
Helping to drive visitors to Macau in October was the Golden Week holiday, with the 970,000 tourists who arrived on the island resort the highest number seen for at least a decade. Also helping to boost arrivals was the opening of two brand new venues recently, including the Wynn Palace in August, and The Parisian (photo) in September. Elaborating further, Professor Desmond Lam from the University of Macau explained:
“They add an exciting new element to the market. Parisian, in particular, is an important addition to the Cotai Strip and, I believe, has revitalised the neighbouring Macao Studio City.”
Adding to the positive sentiment now gripping Macau’s casino market, Nomura Research Analyst Richard Huang told Bloomberg that the gambling resort’s strong October business was likely a combination of an improvement in both the mass market and the VIP sectors. Nevertheless, analysts are now eagerly awaiting a swath of financial earnings data expected to be released by Macau’s casinos over the next few days to confirm that the sector is truly on a sustained upward trajectory.

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