Commissions and certain other costs linked to Macau casino sales hit a four-year high in 2018, while the industry’s contribution to the local economy reached nearly MOP203.4 billion (US$25.2 billion), the highest value since 2014.
Spending on “purchase of goods, commission paid and customer rebate” increased by 13.3 percent year-on-year to MOP68.97 billion in 2018, showed the latest Macau government’s Gaming Sector Survey published on Friday.
Commissions took up 54 percent of total sectoral expenditure for what the report termed “the 10 enterprises engaging in gaming activities,” which amounted to MOP127.8 billion, up 11.2 percent year-on-year.
Macau has six licensed casino operators. The local government has also granted public concessions to operators of other gaming activities including horse racing, sports betting and lottery, but the bulk of local gaming revenue – and expenditure in the sector – is generated by casinos.
Operating expenses for the gaming sector as a whole increased by 14.0 percent year-on-year to MOP31.84 billion, said the city’s Statistics and Census Service. “A major share” of such operating expenses, said the statistics bureau, were complimentary goods and services, such as hotel accommodation and food and beverage, provided to customers. These goods and services cost the sector MOP14.6 billion, up 13.2 percent year-on-year.
Management services and contractual services accounted for MOP6.08 billion; and market research and publicity costs were MOP5.68 billion. Those two categories of operating expense rose by 17.3 percent and 18.4 percent respectively.
Compensation of the sector’s employees went up by 4.9 percent year-on-year to MOP22.37 billion.
The sector’s non-operating expenses – including depreciation and interest paid – totalled MOP4.62 billion, representing a decrease of 2.9 percent from the previous year.
Casino sector receipts for 2018 had risen by 14 percent year-on-year to MOP302.85 billion, said in January the local casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
Gross value added – measuring the sector’s contribution to local economy – went up by 13.6 percent year-on-year to MOP203.38 billion, “the highest value since 2014,” said the statistics bureau. The gross surplus of the sector amounted to MOP181.01 billion, up by 14.8 percent year-on-year, according to Friday’s data.
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Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu
Sanford Bernstein analysts