Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau rose by 22.1 percent year-on-year in October, to MOP26.63 billion (US$3.31 billion), according to data released on Wednesday by the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, also known by its Portuguese-language acronym DICJ. It was the highest monthly GGR tally since October 2014, according to official data.
A Tuesday note from Japanese brokerage Nomura – citing industry consultant sources – had estimated year-on-year expansion in GGR for October in the range of 19 percent to 21 percent, above its own previous estimate of 18 percent.
“Our latest consultant checks point to a noticeable pick up in demand following the 19th Party Congress in China, with VIP and mass revenue [for the month] up approximately 30 percent and 9 percent year-on-year, respectively,” stated Nomura, referring first to a five-yearly meeting of the Chinese Communist Party, during which members of the leadership are earmarked for promotion or retirement.
The official split between GGR for the mass and VIP segments is only issued by DICJ on a quarterly basis. The data for the fourth quarter is expected early next year.
The October GGR result marked the 15th consecutive month of year-on-year GGR growth in the market.
The latest monthly GGR result meant the Macau market’s tally for the first 10 months of 2017 stood at nearly MOP220 billion, up 19.2 percent from the prior-year period, according to the official data.
Macau October GGR came in “wildly ahead of expectations”, said a Wednesday note from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd.
“While volumes were strong, VIP hold rate and hold in premium mass was elevated during the month based on channel checks,” stated analysts Vitaly Umansky, Zhen Gong and Cathy Huang.
JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd analysts DS Kim and Sean Zhuang described the October GGR results as “very impressive… nicely beating consensus expectations of +14.5 percent year-on-year.”
They added that the strong result was despite a tougher year-on-year comparison linked to a bounce in gambling demand from the opening in late summer and autumn 2016 respectively, of Cotai gaming resorts Wynn Palace and The Parisian Macao, and despite “noise around poor Golden Week performance”.
(Updated at 3pm, Nov 1)
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Chief executive and president of MGM Resorts